23rd January 2014
The Lyric Theatre
Type of Production
Author: Les Smith
I think Cinderella is the most traditional of all pantomimes performed today and once again it was a true traditional production we were treated to tonight.
Staring off with a truly traditional Fairy Godmother played by Vivien St John who I have to say reminded me of June Whitfield both in looks and also performance, she was able to transport the whole audience to panto land with a swish of her fairy wand.
Ashley Booker was every bit a likeable Buttons, he was able to get the audience in the palm of his hand from the word go and I have to say I could hear every word he said throughout the whole show, the kids loved him and well they should, not only for the chocolate buttons he kept throwing out but also for his loveable character.
Isabel Canning was a good Cinderella, although I have to say like one or two of the others on stage she did tend to drop her voice which made it hard to hear all her lines. Nevertheless she was able to keep her character up all the way through and proved to be a good match for Prince Charming played by Corey Froggatt who had moved away from the traditional girl playing the “Principal Boy” part but in this production it did pay off, as did Scott Walker who played Dandini again traditionally played by a girl. Both Corey and Scott played their parts well and convincingly.
There were also some very convincing performances from Karen Osman as Baroness Hardup, Alan Walker as Baron Hardup, Samantha Smedley as Queen Prudence Charming and also Adrian Wilson as King Cornelius Charming, the only downfall was they tended to drop their voices again making it difficult to hear all their lines.
Of course no Cinderella would be the same without the Ugly Sisters and boy were they ugly, Beyonce played by Jonathan Cobb and Rihanna played by John Green, both played their parts to perfection and I had no problems in hearing every line they said.
A special mention must also be made of Courtney Smith as Miss Fitt; she performed all the routines in the Chumpney’s Spa and never appeared to get out of breath throughout.
As in all good pantomimes the wow factor comes in the transformation scene and this was no exception, performed as seen in Britain’s Got Talent winners 'Attraction', in silhouette behind a white screen showing the white mice, pumpkin and rats turn into the footmen, coach and horses before revealing a beautiful coach and horse to transport Cinderella to the ball.
All in all a great pantomime if a little wordy at times but that is a criticism of the script and not the performance.