Sunday, 21 December 2008

Cinderella - Buxton Opera House

Cinderella By Philip Dart
Director: Philip Dart
Review by Helen Hunter & Family

Having not seen a pantomime for many years, I’d honestly forgotten just how much fun could be had by all at such an event and this production of ‘Cinderella’ certainly did not disappoint! I was soon roaring with laughter (louder than my niece and nephew at times in fact) along with the rest of the audience.

The Fairy Godmother (Denise Nolan), Buttons (Phil Gallagher – Mister Maker), Baron Hardup and the Ugly sisters, Camilla and Cherie, all helped to inject fun and boost the excitement whilst telling the classic story of Cinders as she copes with her hard life of chores and bullying from her siblings. Set in the village of Stoneybroke, the situation of Baron Hardup and his three daughters was a timely reminder of our current financial climate.

So it was just as well we had the wonderful Denise Nolan as Fairy Godmother to take us away from our troubles into the magical fairytale with the perfect blend of mystery, energy and downright loveliness! With a slight ‘Mamma Mia’ theme running throughout, the high-pace musical numbers were by far the best and for sheer production values, credit must go to Jo Deaville for the Ugly Sisters’ (the excellent Andy Speigel and Michael Duncan) wardrobe!

If I was to be particularly critical, the second half lacked the pace of the first and had some, though hysterical, moments that were somewhat irrelevant to the plot and dragged the story on. For a school night, it could have done with being just 20 minutes shorter as by 9.30p.m there were some very tired youngsters amongst the audience.

For an all-round evening of family fun, this production of Cinderella hits all the right notes and perfectly combines the elements of tradition, entertainment and Christmas spirit.

Pippa: I have seen many pantomimes over the years with my children and I was particularly impressed with this production of Cinderella. Cherie and Camilla (the ugly sisters) were fantastic and made the show! Their costumes were hysterical and became increasingly more daring and outrageous (adults look out for the dressing gowns in the morning after scene!) We definitely got into the spirit of the show and laughed at all of their scenes – very well written and lots of tongue in cheek humour!

Leah (aged 12): I thought this pantomime was much better than any I have ever seen. The scenery was fantastically made and especially the forest, the palace and the horse and carriage as it was very believable. The actress who played the role of Cinderella (Ciara Janson) was very beautiful and looked amazing in the dress for the ball. Overall I thought this was amazing and the best production I have ever seen and there was nothing bad to say about it!
Ross (aged 10): I loved the musicians – they were amazing! It was really funny.
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