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A nice traditional pantomime, with plenty of audience participation, and some good comedy moments.

I thought the smokey atmosphere was a little overdone at the start, there were a few adverse comments from the audience, but once this cleared and the show started all was fine.

I liked the projection of the word Cinderella, and the dancing letters which accompanied the overture, an inspired touch, which led nicely into a lively opening.

Sound was mostly good, although overall I would have liked a little more projection in the lib, the children’s ensemble spoke well when they had their individual lines, whilst the Ugly Sisters, Baron and Dandini projected extremely well throughout.

The flats used were very colourful and created a good feel of the scenes.  The coach was lovely, and the two young people as ponies completed a very effective end to Act 1.

Costumes were good, very colourful, however, I felt Dandini’s hair should have been tied back or in a plait, as was Buttons and the Prince’s – which was much more appropriate. Cinderella’s dress from rags to ballgown was excellently achieved, well done to the person who made it, also very in vogue as per some professional pantos I have seen recently, I was particularly pleased to see that Cinderella was also given a tiara and shoes to complete her ball gown before she got into the coach. For my money I would have put the Prince and Dandini in shorts rather than long tops, for elegance and ease of movement more than anything – but that’s personal preference.

Nice mix of music, which was well performed, and good to have short snappy numbers in the main – Cinders and the Prince’s duet was a little long, the youngsters in were starting to get a bit fidgety.  The ‘When I Was’ number was good and very funny.

Loved the slapstick scene and the ostriches, very well done.

Kirsty Manning was a charming Cinderella, and I commend her for carrying on with her number when the backing track failed to be played, well accomplished.

Louise Wright was a good Prince Charming, plenty of principal boy swagger.

I particularly liked Lucy Barrett as Dandini, she has a bright lively face that came over well, I thought she did a really good job.

For one of the younger cast members, Charlotte Sellars created a nice Buttons, and got interaction with the audience, and some good one liners.

Gavyn Lugsden and Jamie Staton as the Ugly Sisters gave us all the nastiness and more, very well done, and some nice asides to the audience and one liners, loads of fun, but a couple we enjoyed booing too.

Kaytie Allen got the essence of the rather revolting Baroness, another character we loved to boo, whilst Malcolm Calloway as the Baron, was suitably downtrodden, but did show his feistier side at times.  A good pairing.

Simon Harding and Ann Mathews as Bonkers and Wally needed a bit more energy, I felt they missed a few comedic opportunities.  Bonkers was very good in the “When I Was” number, and I liked the fact that he didn’t shrink from being thrown across the stage.

Sarah Ryan was a nice Fairy Godmother, who needed more conviction in her lib, but I liked the portrayal overall.

The Curtain Call Youth Ensemble were very lively, I enjoyed their participation, young Noah Bevan caught my eye, he has such a cheeky face, which he used well!

I really enjoyed this traditional pantomime, written by Gavyn Lugsden, which embodied all the one liners and good things of pantomime, with a few more modern twists, a good afternoon’s entertainment.

Curtain Call Theatre Group -CINDERELLA

Written by: Gavyn Lugsden

Directors: Tiffany Campbell-Smith & Angie Campbell

Choreography:  Stacey Dalton & Tiffany Campbell-Smith

review date: 28th Jan 2018

Church Hall, Eaton Bray


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