Cinderella, Jordan Productions Ltd
Monday, December 8
WHACKY costumes, a solo performed while eating a satsuma and a Lady Ga Ga medley that has to be seen to be believed, are just some of the delights contained in this year’s Palace Panto.
It was always going to be a tough ask to live up to the standard of last year’s production of Aladdin and while Cinderella falls just short of that, it still delivers mirth and mayhem aplenty. One thing it does have is plenty of audience interaction which just adds to the laughter and chaos, particularly when the characters take part in a royal hunt throughout the Alcester Street venue – and they don’t mind moving an audience member or two.
The show is also not afraid to poke fun at itself with the characters often breaking off to share a joke or interaction with the band or stage crew, as well as the traditional innuendo and awful puns. The dance numbers add a great energy to the show, and the tap dancing scene at the beginning of act two is a particular treat, as is the lively opening number to Pharrell Williams’ Happy.
Anne Charleston, aka Madge Bishop in Neighbours, is this year’s star name and there’s a few references to her time Down Under for those in the audience old enough to remember her stint in the soap. She makes for a convincing no nonsense Fairy Godmother, giving the story direction and purpose, but her ‘old hag’ impression makes you think she would have made an outstanding baddie.
Rebecca Tyson is perfect as Cinderella and delivers some outstanding vocal performances while Richard Pocock and Dereck Walker, as ugly stepsisters Flora and Marge, are a wonderful combination. Their beauty treatment scene is worth the admission price alone.
But they are probably upstaged by Scott Cripps as the kind-hearted Buttons who gets the most laughs due to his jester-like performance with the Kitchen scene with Cinderella in particular both charming and highly amusing.
The one thing missing is a real villain as it’s hard to hate and boo the ugly stepsisters when they are so funny but it doesn’t detract from a pantomime which is an enjoyable two hours of nonsense the whole family can enjoy.
* For tickets for Cinderella, which runs at the Palace Theatre until January 4, contact the box office on 01527 65203.