Cinderella panto at The Pavilion Bournemouth

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If you’re looking for a Panto to reap that traditional fairytale feeling along with a chance to let rip and just scream! then this year’s Cinderella, directed by Sarah Redmond at the Pavilion in Bournemouth is just the ticket.

Packed full of all the little nuances that you’d expect from a family Christmas theatre production, and some! Even I had to blush at a few of the adult-themed jokes that went over the heads of the excitable children. In doing so this is fantastic entertainment for all and sundry.

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Our demure Cinders is CBBC’s Tracy Beaker star Dani Harmer who is every bit the Panto beauty, following her heart to one day meet her Prince Charming, who is played by X-Factor’s Rhydian, eloquently dashing and noble. His rendition of Queen’s ‘Somebody to love’ is sublime, not a classic choice for a Pantomime by any means, but somehow fits the mood perfectly and so well executed through sophisticated lighting and ingenious backdrops. Every member of the cast are superbly spot lit with lyrical genus matching to their character or situation in the story, making this a true spectacle of the show.

Praise indeed should go to all the back-room staff from lighting to backdrops, concepts and wardrobe which is hilariously inventive. The Ugly Sisters getting the cream of the crop, as over-the-top as per their personas, and so effortlessly dramatised by David Ball and Michael Chance. They may have been beholden to all the ‘boo’s’, what with their naughty antics, egotist behaviour and down-right nastiness but their humour and sheer entertaining brilliance easily won the hearts of the entire audience by the end of the night.

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More cheeky gags and fantastic ad-libs came from Cinderella’s bestie, Buttons. Rising comedic star, Noel Brodie. provided a side-splitting performance, complete with an awesomely memorised solo dialogue tongue-twister.

A classic enchanting tale delightfully mastered with magical modern twists, well-edited 2016 pop tracks, great choreography and a professional cast that are clearly enjoying every minute of this theatrical masterpiece, cleverly adapted by UK Productions. It’s not very often either that the inclusion of advertising can fit such a story, but somehow the 118 boys and the John Lewis jumping foxes were seamlessly woven in without question. This eye for cultural detail blended with the conventional pantomime ‘must-haves’, not to mention a couple of adorable, miniature white ponies, makes this a beautifully crafted production for young and old alike.

A lovely well-favoured story by a well-oiled machine but with great ad-hoc abilities to improvise and grab an opportune giggle from the crowd. Audience participation is met in spades throughout the whole show and even when the cast themselves lost the plot a couple of times, the audience loved them even more.

A total joy to watch.

Cinderella is at the Bournemouth Pavilion theatre until 2nd January, so book your fun night out now!

Words by Wendy Armstrong

 

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