New Theatre, Cardiff, Tues 10 Dec
Cardiff’s New Theatre told us that this year’s production would be ‘The Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes!’ and we can confirm that they weren’t wrong!
We open with the aptly named Fairy Gokmother (Gok Wan) on a magnificent glittered half-moon, with a spectacular outfit to match. The audience is introduced to Cinders herself and, of course, the Ugly Sisters played by the wonderful Ceri Dupree and Mike Doyle. It’s clear from the start that the sisters are stealing the show. We have never seen so many costume changes, and every outfit was more stunning and bonkers than the last!
Comedian Phil Butler, as Cinderella’s best friend Buttons, provides traditional panto fun and laughter throughout the show. His comic timing and cheeky grin appeals to all ages, with belly laughs from the kids and knowing chuckles from the adults as he expertly lands a number of innuendo-laced jokes.
Cinderella (Teleri Hughes) wows the audience with her vocal talent and lovable demeanour. Her romance with Prince Charming (Rob Wilshaw) proves utterly believable, pleasing hearts both young and old. Dandini (Dale Evans) shines in his solo performance and again later on when he joined the outstandingly choreographed ensemble at The Royal Ball.
It has to be said that, every year, the set is magnificent and this year was no exception, each setpiece truly adding to the magical world of panto. With lots of sparkle and pyrotechnics, the stage became a character in its own right.
Our highlights included the fantastic rapport between The Fairy Gokmother, Tess, Claudia and Buttons, not only with each other but with the audience too. They made everyone feel like they were part of the show, entertaining us thoroughly with some good old-fashioned comedy.
Leo, aged 8 said, “At first I was booing Tess and Claudia because they are so horrible to Cinderella, but I really liked them and I thought they were super funny so sometimes I cheered!”
words SARAH-JANE REEVES
Cinderella is at the New Theatre Cardiff until Sun 12 Jan. Tickets and info here.