Cinderella: Whitstable Times Review
“This year’s production … harnessed that magic and unleashed it in a shower of glitter and sparkles.”
Original Article by Liz Crudgington, Whitstable Times – Friday 24 January 2014
What are the ingredients for the perfect pantomime?
Of course you need a beautiful princess of some description, a dashing prince, a bad guy and a good fairy.
Add audience participation, jokes for the adults and the kids and some musical numbers and you’re almost there.
But to make it truly successful, you need a touch of magic, something undefinable, found in the wave of a fairy’s wand or the swish of a dame’s skirts.
This year’s production by the Lindley Players harnessed that magic and unleashed it in a shower of glitter and sparkles.
From the fairy dust sprinkled around the theatre that must give the cleaning team nightmares, to the enchanted forest projected on to the curtains, no detail was missed.
Glyn Maflin and Bob Spaul made their eagerly awaited return as hapless duo Bodgett and Leggett and such is their stage presence that they only had to walk out of the wings to get a laugh. Their decorating scene was one of my favourites, and the variety of excuses they found to drench the audience with water were impressive.
Real-life partnership Darren and Peter Simpson teamed up as the ugly sisters and the costume team excelled themselves with their outfits. Their hats deserved their own credit in the programme and their dresses for the cooking scene were inspired. Lesley Cookman managed to make the Baroness, their mother, just the right mix of exasperation and evil so her marriage to the kind but hapless Baron, played by Roy Drinkwater, was believable.
The third perfect pair was Katie Campbell as Prince Charming and Cheryl Mumford as Dandini, who managed to combine humour and heroics in equal measure.
Jane Cottrell’s Cinderella was everything a heroine should be, wholesome, loving and delicate – although perhaps a little too glamorous even before the intervention of her fairy godmother, played by Caroline Jordan. And her softly spoken tones and super sparkly dress could have come straight out of a Disney dream – perfect for the fairy.
The cast as a whole exuded enthusiasm and were well-rehearsed by choreographer Pippa Smith, who used the talents of ballet dancers among the chorus to add to the magic. Pantomime horse Haygone’s fancy footwork is also worth seeing.
But for me, David Rogers was the star of the show as Buttons, partly because he seemed to enjoy every single second he was on stage.
He stole every scene and I could have listened to him sing all night – especially when he tackled Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, with actions.
The show continues until [next] Saturday and some tickets are still available, so book your seats now.
Cinderella at the Playhouse Theatre Whitstable
Wednesday 22 Jan – Sat 1 Feb
Evening Performances: 7.45pm
Matinees: Sat 25, Sun 26 Jan & Sat 1 Feb – 2.30pm
Box Office 01227 272042 or visit www.playhousewhitstable.co.uk