Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Cinderella

New Theatre, Cardiff , New Theatre, Cardiff , December 20, 2010
Cinderella by New Theatre, Cardiff COMEDIAN Brian Connelly brings a touch of good old fashioned family humour to Cardiff’s panto this year with a Cinderella that has no cringe or cover- the- kids’-ears moments.

I took a group of youngsters ranging from 15 to 6 and they all had a ball, laughing at all the jokes, joining in the usual banter and even I came away with a sore throat from too much yelling.

No needs to go through the story which is nice and conventional so anyone who knows the fairy tale can keep up allowing for lots of asides, comedy additions and sing-along jollity. Conley has the role of Buttons in his blood and it makes the occasional fit of giggles all the more enjoyable.

You then get comedy that frankly is lost on adults but kids adore. This year it was Dawson Chance as Baron Hardup and a horrible hand puppet Little Willy. I thought it was gross but the children laughed their proverbial socks off.
Cardiff always has a great panto and this year was no exception thanks this time to fine sets, lavish costumes and the charm factor, such as the children from the Lorri Guppy School of Dance in pretty costumes and especially as woodland creatures in the enchanted forest.

Darren Southworth and Brian Godfrey were splendid ugly sisters with marvellously inventive costumes and their dialogue stayed just on the right side of bawdy banter.

I wasn’t too impressed by either Hadley Fraser as the Prince or Leighton Rafferty as his right hand man, Dandini, but they can sing and looked cute enough.

No problems with the leading lady Amy Pemberton as she positively sparkled as Cinderella and got her prince in the end, oo er. Well, it is panto.

Keeping an eye on the younger members of the pack it was the songs that left the toddlers most fidgety while they loved all the slapstick, the special effects and, not to spoil it, the magical ending.

The older kids were just happy all the way through and the group left the theatre with a festive glow.

Cinderella is running at the New Theatre until January 23. For booking details contact the box office on 029 2087 8889 or log on to www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

Reviewed by: Mike Smith

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