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Griffins have once again come up trumps with their pantomime.  It was fairly fast-moving and incorporated all the best of traditional panto.  Written by Dee Lovelock – there were some good one liners, and again a very traditional feel with some current twists, which was very much appreciated.

The opening was good, with the ensemble giving us a rousing song and clearly enjoying themselves.

Charlotte Tabert did a good job on the musical side of things, there were some lovely moments, I particularly liked the Baron’s song – which was very nicely sung and acted by Martin Pursey, as the put upon Baron Hardup, to his daughter Cinderella, a charming interlude interwoven into the pantomime.

Gary Nash, who took over and directed the production, did a good job overall, and he also designed and helped build the set – which as always was colourful and suitable for the piece, with an excellent lighting plot from Dave Houghton, run by Ben Houghton and a team of technical whizzes.  The glittery coach was lovely and beautifully lit, and I was pleased to see it used again for the finale.

Duncan Askew has made a welcome reappearance on the sound side of things, the balance was good throughout.

The costumes were mostly good, there were a couple of petticoats that needed hitching up.  I loved the flowers in the forest when we saw the Prince for the first time – very colourful, and the scarves used by the dancers were very pretty – such a great backing to the song.

Kirsty Day was a lovely Cinderella, she looked the part, and sang beautifully, everything a Cinderella should be, with Megan Clarke as the Prince, showing an elegance in both the way she wore her costumes and her demeanour.

For me Kirstie Johnston was a super Dandini – she played it tongue in cheek, and had some great lines, a very wry humour, and one which I enjoyed very much.

Sarah Farrar, taking a rest from MD-ing, played a very raucous Baroness, she looked evil, and gave the poor old Baron a really hard time – we all enjoyed booing her.  I liked the change she showed between her dealings with the Baron and Cinderella and her two lovely(?) daughters.

Sharon Robinson gave us a Scottish Fairy Godmother – again a certain wry humour to her portrayal, which was amusing.  

Luke Murphy came up trumps with his take on Buttons – he managed to get the audience on his side, and his final song was very poignant, a complete change to his jolly persona for the rest of the show, and the lighting for that particular song was so atmospheric.

So, to the Ugly Sisters, an excellent pairing of Richard Lovelock and Paul Rogers, who were as revolting and gorgeous as only good Ugly Sisters can be – they had a great relationship, and I loved the ‘splash me’ joke, old but very well done...... and the balloon dogs was also great fun.  Well done guys, you created some really funny moments, and wore your garish dresses with aplomb.

There were other items that really hit the spot, with some excellent choreography from Jackie Houghton assisted by Kerry Collins, the black and white number was very well done, and created something a little different, and also the junior chorus doing their number in the ballroom, it was very well accomplished and showcased the skills of the lovely girls and boy – I did enjoy it.  A good collaboration between MD and choreographer, performed exceedingly well.

A thoroughly good evening’s entertainment – I left with a good feeling having watched a super production, with lots of atmosphere, fun and tradition – well done everyone, and a super start to the Christmas period.


CINDERELLA” review date: 6TH Ded 2013


Director:  Gary Nash MD:  Charlotte Tabert Choreographer: Jackie Houghton and Kerry Collins


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