Cinderella - Panto ☆☆☆☆☆5
Showing from - Saturday, December 5, 2015 through till Sunday, December 20, 2015
Nottingham Arts Theatre - Nottingham
Ross Lowe | Sunday, December 6, 2015
If you find yourself struggling to get yourself into the Christmas spirit this year, then maybe something of a transformation is needed to put you in the mood.
And if you're looking for a transformation that's truly festive in nature, then they don't come much better than the one witnessed during Cinderella, this year's panto from The People's Theatre Company at the Nottingham Arts Theatre.
This panto, penned by director Amanda Hall, is a joyous romp filled with every panto cliche under the sun and several more besides.
It really does have everything you could wish for and is performed by a hugely talented amateur company of all ages
What's more, it absolutely revels in it as does every single member of this extremely talented local amateur cast, and it makes for a great piece of Christmas entertainment. As soon as Buttons energetically bounces onto stage (a highly enjoyable and warm performance from Sean Goodwin) - and indeed at one point when he leaps from it - the audience are swept along on a tide of cracker gags, great songs, slick dance numbers and some very clever special effects.
Assisting Buttons with the narration of the story is the Fairy Godmother, played by Laura Thurman. Speaking only in rhyme, she gave a crowd-winning performance and got the level of audience interaction and the occasional need for improvisation absolutely spot-on.
Larger than life characters come and go as the colourful story weaves its magic; Marie Rogers' evil Baroness Hardup is roundly booed and hissed at every turn, Milly Evans' cheese-chomping teenage mouse is great fun, Hannah Rogers-Gee's Prince Charming is a thigh-slapping delight and Catherine Cunningham shows off some superb vocal talents as Dandini. Indeed, along with the Prince and the rest of the principals there are some very powerful and impressive vocal performances.
Lauren Stephenson's Cinderella is every bit the flower waiting to bloom and when she does - in an astonishingly well-executed set and costume transformation that drew its own round of applause from the spellbound audience - she dazzled.
But more often than not it's down to the Ugly Sisters to steal the show and this production comes with two dames that don't disappoint in the shape of Michael Pearson and Rob Goll. Great line delivery throughout and some outrageous costumes and wigs were the icing on their own peculiar Christmas cake (the recipe for which they even delivered onstage, like a drunken equivalent of Mel & Sue).
This particular panto earns its five stars because it really does have everything you could wish for and is performed by a hugely talented amateur company of all ages; right throughout the performance every single member of the very young chorus was unphased, in their element and giving it everything they'd got.
Get yourself along to the Nottingham Arts Theatre before the 20th December - you're in for a treat that'll really set you up for Christmas.
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