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I was so happy to be able to see two performances of Phoenix Players Cinderella,
performed in a pop-
The Monarch staff, led by MD Chris Dare, were very welcoming, and it was a pre-
The stage was a little too deep, as some of the action plus the lib from unmic’d cast was sometimes difficult to see and hear, but otherwise the sound balance was remarkable, and the lighting was very good throughout – full marks to the technical teams led by Kyle O’Hara, Matt Stevens, Tim Garside and Lauren Evans.
I was particularly taken by the MD, Tom Arnold, who at only 16 years old commanded from the start, and gave us some great music from his band, well thought out, and some good harmonies from the cast. Very impressed with this young man.
Sarah Albert’s choreography suited the various levels of ability and everyone looked comfortable with what they were doing. Nicely achieved.
The costumes were a little hit and miss – the Uglies were great, as were Prince Charming’s,
Dandini’s and Cinderella’s, but I felt the ensemble and Buttons were a little below
par in some respects -
The two teams of children were both charming and attentive to detail, they performed both their main numbers well, and it was great to see Jordan Hiepner on stage, despite having broken his leg and being confined to a wheelchair – so lovely of the team to rally round so that he could be included. Solos from all the young people were very accomplished, and I enjoyed both teams equally, which isn’t often the case, so well done to all.
Scott Newman was a suitably upbeat Buttons, getting the audience involved from the outset, a very cheeky chappie who we all felt sorry for when Cinders got her Prince! The range of emotions were good.
I liked Hannah Synan-
Barry Hyde and Jackie Hensley were the Ugly Sisters, and boy did they live up to their names, they had some super stand out costumes, I particularly liked the orange ones in act 1, but they carried them all off well, and looked super, whilst being rather revolting – great!
Their evil stepmother was played with great enjoyment by Tracey Chatterley – she has rather made the role of ‘Wicked .....’ her own – she has the right type of voice and is not afraid to be hated by the audience. A fine contrast to the other characters, and a good grouping with her awful daughters!
Dee Lovelock created a fun Fairy Godmother, she always gives a part a real edge, and doesn’t respond to stereotypes, so her portrayal was funny but still gave us the magic we require. I liked the downgrade to ‘Nan’ for when she visited Cinders in the wood!
Bill Lovegrove completed the principal line-
All in all I had a very enjoyable afternoon, and loved seeing both performances, a very good pantomime.
My thanks to Phoenix for their hospitality and to Monarch Engineering for hosting the production, truly special, and my congratulations to all involved for making it happen.
Phoenix Players “CINDERELLA” 9th Dec 2017
@ Monarch Aircraft Engineering, Hanger 127
Director: Richard Lovelock
MD: Tom Arnold
Choreographer: Sarah Albert