Cinderella (the Pantomime)

Venue: Harlow Playhouse
Cast: Amy Goodwin, Jimmy Burton Iles, Tom Pepper, Ben Parsley, Grace Chapman, Jonathan Dudley and Kate Playdon  

Cinderella longs for a happier and more exciting life away from her wicked Stepsisters. Thankfully she has Buttons her loveable companion there to look after her. When the dashing Prince Charming decides to hold a ball to find his future wife, this may just be the chance Cinderella has been waiting for. Can the Fairy Godmother help Cinderella get to the Ball? With the help of some mice and a pumpkin – anything is possible! Featuring a cast of seasoned professionals, lavish sets and costumes and a live band.

Pantomimes have been a yearly tradition for me ever since I can remember. This year, Christmas came and went and I still hadn't managed to see one; but I managed to squeeze Cinderella in today and I could not have been more thrilled. Growing up, pantomimes seem to have lost their magic a little and I struggle to find one that captures the true magic of pantomimes. Well, KD Theatre's production of Cinderella has managed to do just that

I took my 14 year old niece and my 8 year old nephew along with me, and they enjoyed it as much as I did. While this is obviously aimed at children, there is something for every age group in this pantomime. From a hip hop dance act, to musical theatre heaven; this pantomime has it all. In fact, both my niece and nephew's favourite moment of the show was the performance from the street dance company, Hip Hop Pop. A fantastic street piece to a medley of viral TikTok songs and dances.

While I was gifted these tickets, the prices are extremely reasonable; especially if you buy a family ticket bundle. Considering the price bracket, I thought it would be basic sets and costumes; and I could not have been more wrong! There were countless costume changes and gorgeous ever-changing sets to compliment the lavish outfits. 

When it comes to pantomime, I'm looking for two main aspects: humour and singing. The humour in this show comes from Buttons (Parsley) who was a favourite for all my family (I'm a Prince Charming girl, through and through!). He was naturally full of wit and infectious joy; and appealed to both young and older audience members. And of course, the Ugly Step Sisters (Pepper and Burton Iles) who managed to steal the show with their many one-liners throughout

As for the singing, it was simply sensational. Magic Everywhere opened the show, performed by the Fairy Godmother and a whole host of fairy tale characters. The song is one of my favourites from the Disneyland Paris parades, so I felt instantly choked up! 

Some other standout performances were Raining Men, performed by the Step Sisters, Domino, One Night Only, and the mash up of You Will Be Found/This is Me (I did say it was musical theatre heaven!). However, the show-stealer for me was Larger Than Life, performed by our Prince Charming (Dudley). It was almost identical to the West End & Juliet adaptation of the song, so it goes without saying that I absolutely adored it. And boy, Jonathan Dudley can SING!

The choreography was stunning. From street, to ballet, to contemporary. So many dance styles all beautifully interwoven into the story we all know and love. From our leading cast members, down to the ensemble, there's simply no weak member of the cast. And a special mention must go to the live band who truly helped to capture the magic of live musical theatre with so many beautiful arrangements. 

I think there's only one sentence that can sum up how wonderful this production is: this pantomime is worthy of the West End. I do not say this lightly, but everything from the costumes, the singing, the acting, the sets and the dancing were simply above and beyond what you would expect from outside the West End. While I was only able to see one pantomime this festive season, it seems I've picked the most magical of them all! You must get tickets to the ball, before it's too late...

You can book tickets to see Cinderella at Harlow Playhouse, until January 8th 2023, here.

No comments