Cinderella ★★★★★ Richmond Theatre | Dec 3, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022


Cinderella at Richmond Theatre is, for us, the perfect example of that quintessentially English theatrical staple – The Pantomime. It looks glorious and, mercifully, references to the outside world and TV shows are strictly limited. There is no product placement and sweets aren't thrown into the audience. However, traditional panto gags abound and the whole show is a kaleidoscopic rainbow of colour – with a pleasing lack of excessive blue in the humour. It isn't just Edward Chitticks' handsome Prince who is charming. Anton Du Beke as Buttons has charm by the bucket-load as he interacts delightfully with the audience; unsurprisingly he shines in his Fred Astaire-style routine at the Ball. As Beatrice and Eugenie, Darren Bennett and Bobby Delaney have a stunning wardrobe of evermore outrageous frocks as they brow-beat poor Oonagh Cox's sweet Cinders. Rosemary Ashe sparkles as the Fairy Godmother; she is reminiscent of June Whitfield in the role – a compliment indeed. Poor Jonny Weston's efficient Dandini doesn't get much of a look in! Special praise goes to the six members of the ensemble who give tireless support. Their tap-dancing pumpkins are a sight to behold! Stewart Nicholls' direction is appropriately slick and the whole production looks fresh as paint and extremely lavish. Delighted looks of wonder abounded as the first act curtain fell and Cinderella's coach was pulled off to the ball by a pair of white Shetland ponies. This Cinderella is an absolutely ideal introduction to the magic of theatre. Irresistible!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Craig Sugden.

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