Cinderella

Date 21st October 2021
Society Aldridge Musical Comedy Society
Venue Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Antony Britt assisted by Julie Lamb
Musical Director Mark Bayliss
Choreographer Sarah Beckett

Report

Author: Brian Hirst

This was a version of this well-loved pantomime with a twist in the tale. It was written and directed by one of the society’s members, Antony Britt. He also played one of the principal characters. I liked this version and the slightly different ending worked well for me.

There were plenty of typically corny pantomime gags, some old and some new. At times the pace was a little slow but I am certain that it will speed up as the week progresses. I am sure that the cast were glad to be treading the boards again and we, the audience, were pleased to be sharing it with them.

Cinderella (Gaynor Ball) and her Prince Charming (Michael Mannion) worked well together in song, dance and characterisation. This was particularly important as the audience needed to see that Cinderella was torn between the Prince and Buttons. There was also a strong performance from Chante Williamson (Buttons). A pantomime needs humour and there was an abundance of it from Antony Britt (Deichmann) and Matthew Britt (Brantano). There was also plenty of humour and good harmony singing from Cinderella’s step sisters Chardonnay (Bethany Graves), Prosecco (Michelle Orton) and Spumante (Lucy Pountain). Into this mix add Madame Waitrose (Sarah Hinkley), Baron Hardup’s wife, and Madame Lidl (Emma Wallage), her sister and housekeeper at the hall and more fun ensues. These last two are seasoned performers and they sparkled here again. Charming’s manservant, Dandini, was superbly played by Richard Beckett who showed what a fine singing voice he has. There was good support from Mikee Evans (Baron Hardup) and Derek Somers (King). I was particularly impressed by Catherine Hooper (Bonnie and-----!) as she played two very different roles in this production and moved seamlessly from one to the other. She showed off her fine singing and dancing skills. The kitchen kids were amazing and looked to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

The choreography was excellent and its execution by principals and chorus was slick. There was some extremely strong singing from principals, ensembles and chorus all displaying confident harmonies. The whole production was supported by colourful costumes, appropriate scenery, good lighting plot and well-balanced sound. The ensemble in the pit was supportive and sympathetic throughout and the whole production provided a good evening’s entertainment. It’s good to be back. Well done!