Reviewed by Louise Edwards
The “Fairy Godmother of all Pantomimes” Cinderella made its debut over the weekend at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal with a sparkly cast to match the sparkly set!
Pantomime is an absolute must Christmas tradition for us and what better way to kick start the festive season than with this amazing show! Featuring the wonderful Richard Cadell as Buttons and Sooty (as himself), two dames in the form of Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters, Michaela (played by Les Dennis) and her gorgeous sister Phelina (played by Connor McIntyre) and the very charming Prince Charming played by Gareth Gates as well as Kimberley Blake playing the Fairy Godmother, Hannah Grace Lawson as Cinderella and Jack McNeill as Dandini, the Prince’s right hand man.
The Fairy Godmother opens the star-studded show with the swish of her magic wand and so the fun begins!
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella so I won’t spoil it with the little tweaks that the writer Alan Mc Hugh has made as well as additional material by Les Dennis and Richard Cadell but the results are entertaining and captivating for all ages.
Director, Guy Unsworth, Choreographer, Fabian Aloise and Liam Blain, Associate Director all have a wealth of pantomime experience and credibility to ensure that the show goes without a hitch.
For us Buttons (Richard Cadell) really stole the show with his stage presence and comedy timing. Of course, him and Sooty (who I think mostly the adults recognised!) are a brilliant duo with their magic tricks and silliness. I loved the Pavarotti impression by, special guest, Sweep too!
Of course, the set is great quality, star spangled and glitzy and Gareth Gates as the nice but dim Prince Charming is fantastic and Hannah Grace Lawson (in her pantomime debut) is very sweet as Cinderella and has a brilliant singing voice. The Theatre Royal Babes, under the supervision of Greer Sheppard, are astonishing in their professionalism and talent.
The Ugly Sisters had some amazing outfits and their dialogue was littered with plenty of adult jokes, political references and Coronation Street jokes (in which both Les Dennis and Connor McIntyre have starred) are all included and it was all very clever and just the right side of risqué. It always makes me laugh how children are in stitches at the adult jokes just as much as those aimed at children.
Special effects by The Twins FX, leaders of theatrical visuals, are out of this world and as Cinders heads to the ball, at the end of the first half, her sparkling coach takes to the air, complete with horses and footman.
Running for a total of two hours, with an additional twenty minute interval, we loved every minute of this high energy, hilarious pantomime and it is really clear to see no expense has been spared to ensure a complete Christmas experience. There are lots of cheaper imitation pantos in Nottinghamshire but really the Theatre Royal knows how to do it bigger and better than anyone else. So to make sure you get to the ball and buy your tickets today!
Tickets cost from £14 to £38.50 (booking fees may apply).
Cinderella is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from 30 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND