Date 26th January 2013
Society Ellesmere Port Original Pantomime Company
Venue Ellesmere Port Civic Hall
Type of Production Pantomine
Director Shan Albino
Musical Director Nikki Molley
Choreographer Kelly Clare


Author: Budge Grounsell

Previously I hadn’t seen any of this society’s production but I would not hesitate to go again.  Director Shan Albino, Musical Director Nickki Molley and Choreographer  proved to be a winning combination giving their audience a rich mixture of entertainment.

The use of a professional script  can have considerable advantages but  in some cases characters  seem to be included to pad out the story or  did not give a real opportunity for the player concerned to make a real impact.  Having said that the whole package as I said before added up to a fine evening.

The tendency to start off with the fairy godmother  to introduce the action seems to be prevalent these days as opposed to years ago when Pantomine began with a song and  dancing from a  chorus of  “villagers” which I feel, being oldfashioned, makes for a brighter start but  Fairy Godmother( Karen Fellows) and her helpers (Ellie Sansom,Courtney Upfold and Molly Blay) all did very well indeed throughout the action of the show. I thought the King( Paul James Henson) was one of the players who suffered from the writers  inability to make the part really worthwhile, I’m sure he could have handled it. Cash and Carry (Rosalie Chapman and Barry Hickman-Germon) promised much and delivered it when given their chance but their appearances were also too few and far between. Cookie (Jennett Wilne) was a new character for me in Cinderella but did provide a chance for a kitchen slapstick scene between herself and Buttons. The idea was good but perhaps some more vigorous  action would have  made the scene even better than it was. I think we really only saw Cookie twice which was a shame.

Chris Pacitti did well as the Baron in what I always think can be a difficult part to make a great impact, well done Chris. The Wicked Stepmother (Carol Nickson) made the most of her appearances but again I thought there was room for more interplay between her and the other characters. Ciera Evans as the eponymous Cinderella  together with Prince Charming (Gill Rigby) gave us the romantic interest ably supported by Dandini (Shannon Kelly)  all three of whom held their own in a story which is often dominated by  the Ugly Sisters  and Buttons. Liz Legerton and  Gail Roberts as the sisters were a joy rocking  their audience with laughter whenever they appeared.  In  parts which are often  given to men they excelled,  super show ladies. Buttons (Ian Deveraux-Roberts has a difficult task and he handled it beautifully. Often left partly to his own devices to encourage the audience he handled this and all he did  with  great success. A superb performance.  The principals were  well supported by a largely young chorus  who did a good job and who should be encouraged as they are the future of  live theatre. Well done to all of you,  No Society can be successful without it’s Officers and backroom helpers and their input was apparent in the overall production.  I’m .looking forward to next year.