|Date||20th March 2022|
|Venue||Library Theatre, Luton|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Director||Richard & Dee Lovelock|
|Musical Director||Sarah Farrar|
|Written By||Richard & Dee Lovelock|
Author: Nova Horley
I was delighted to once again be invited to review a Griffins family pantomime, two performances on the same afternoon, to see both junior ensembles, and it was well worth the double attendance, I thoroughly enjoyed both performances.
The writers/directors had assembled a good cast. I have seen this version of Cinderella on several occasions, but it always seems fresh and not at all dated.
No break for scene changes made this a slick production, which I always appreciate, and technically it was a very good show.
Lighting was excellent, I especially liked the effects for the Baroness’s song, and the two tone glitter ball, very imaginative, making it a visual pleasure throughout.
Costumes were good, so colourful and well thought out.
Musically good, songs chosen were mostly in keeping with the piece, and gave the cast something to get their teeth into.
A rousing opening number got us in the mood for immersing ourselves, and the audience reacted well from the start. Pace was good, and everyone on stage showed animation and looked as if they were enjoying themselves, which transmitted to the audience.
Cinderella (Jess Oakey) was a new face to me, but she was charming and upbeat even in the face of the evil Stepmother and Uglies, and had a charming voice too.
The Ugly Sisters, Chianti and Shiraz (Ben Jaggers and Craig Hiepner) gave us everything we needed, sheer fun and evilness.
Prince Charming (Jonathan Goodson) created a typical Prince Charming, I liked his interaction with Cinderella and Buttons.
Buttons (Paul Ramsey) gave us everything we needed, full-on engagement with the audience, with the relevant sadness in his love for Cinderella, and culminating in his lovely song at the end, a well-rounded performance that I really enjoyed.
Baroness Hardup (Mel Ramsey) carried a nicely sharp edge and nastiness, Mel accomplished the role well, and despite being small in stature, she dominated her family and we all enjoyed booing her.
Baron Hardup (Terry Hayden) was thoroughly caring with Cinderella, and long-suffering with his wife and the Uglies. Lovely to see Terry back on stage, a good part for him.
The Fairy Godmother (Cheryl Desborough) gave us everything that makes a Fairy appealing, rhyming lib, a little humour, and utterly entrancing.
Dandini (Amy Hansford) poured fun, liveliness and gaiety into her portrayal, I really enjoyed her performance.
The senior ensemble were involved and reactive, and looked as if they were enjoying themselves, whilst Team Buttons and Team Dandini (the junior Ensembles) interacted well with both the cast and the audience, and it was lovely to see the smallest children (Elodie Ramsey and Effie Desborough) taking solo lines well.
All in all a super production, which I enjoyed from start to finish both times, and although it was too late for that ‘Christmas’ feel, I didn’t think the delayed performance suffered.