Review: Nottingham Playhouse’s annual Christmas pantomime, Cinderella
From a life-size flying horse to a prince with great balls, there’s plenty of magic and mischief in Nottingham Playhouse’s pantomime Cinderella.
The glitzy and sometimes garish — thanks to the ugly stepsisters’ ‘fashion crimes’ — showing of the classic fairy tale kept the audience entertained from beginning to end as the talented cast sung and danced their way from the circus, to Hardup Hall and finally to the palace ball.
The ball’s entertainment comes in the form of a slapstick comedy of errors, where the cast consider the jobs they would have if they were not upon the stage — but it is very clear the stage is where they belong as they delivered what may have been the best pantomime I’ve ever seen.
Not even a rogue door handle could stop them — in fact it was hard to tell if the slight malfunction was part of the script or not.
Cinderella marks much-loved panto dame John Elkington’s 25th Playhouse pantomime and he is yet to disappoint. This year he is Rose and delivers witty one-liners, physical comedy and raunchy jokes — which thankfully sail right over the younger audience’s head — with a practiced ease.
He is joined by Tom Hopcroft as Violet, and the pair make for a hilarious double act as the spoiled stepsisters.
Newcomer to the panto is Jewelle Hutchinson who makes her spectacular professional debut as Cinderella, with beautiful vocals, dancing and an altogether loveable performance.
Danny Hendrix is also back for another year of magic as Buttons, and there’s a wonderful young chorus whose dazzling dance numbers keep the energy up.
Praise must also go to the skilled designers whose glittering set and costumes bring the magic to life on the stage and the band who provide pitch-perfect musical accompaniment.
It was a fantastic blend of traditional pantomime and the trending songs which youngsters now love.
I laughed until I almost cried, gasped at some outrageous jokes, got covered in water, snow and confetti, and had a wonderful night out.