Cinderella and the Pantomime Thief

Date 16th November 2018
Society Double Act Drama Group
Venue Corfe Castle Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Peter Smith
Author Peter Nuttall
Choreographer Marion Carle


Author: Sylvia Coates

Double Act opened the panto season with this well-written melange of every fairy tale ever told, full of one-liners and familiar characters, supported by a trio of musicians.  As always, Double Act were creative in the technical department, coping brilliantly with a hall under refurbishment, using tall black screens on wheels and adding painted panels as required: the library and the castle were particularly effective, as was the (very Dorsetshire) street scene.

As this is a composite panto, the characters did not always conform to type: Abanazar whinged rather than ranted, rendering him less formidable; the excellent and engaging Wiggle worked hard and drove the action forward; youthful Cinderella was a natural performer with a sweet voice; Buttons was a kind policeman and the Wicked Witch (a good cackle!) was kind to Wiggle and expelled Abanazar; the Ugly Sisters’ handbag fight was fun; the Spirit of the Ring was hippy-like in her rainbow tutu and wig; the Magic Mirror was an excellent character, well-acted and petulant; and congratulations to the Prince, who stepped in at the last moment and carried off the role in style.

Visually, there were some nice effects, including glitter confetti; flashing hats; a plasma-style crystal ball; and an excellent and sinister magic mirror: a metallic creation, almost a mask but with no discernible features.  The quick-change routine in the police station was a funny sequence, which could be played even faster, running all over the stage - given time and space to rehearse.  The improvement in movement and choreography overall was pleasing and the ‘Gimme Gimme’ song was a highlight for the Ugly Sisters and Chorus.  The sound effect for the witch’s spell was very good.

Double Act are moving from strength to strength, raising their game in preparation (lines) and performance (movement and characterisation), supported by strong technical skills.  I look forward to seeing their next creative production in Corfe.

Congratulations on working so well under very difficult conditions.