Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews



Qdos , New Theatre Cardiff , December 10, 2019
Cinderella  by Qdos Gok Wan’s name is on the top of the pantomime poster: experiencing his great performance and seeing the way in which he so totally captivates the audience, he has every right to be there. Although this is a show of many sparkling stars.

Teleri Hughes is a joy, both to watch and listen to. She gives us a Cinderella full of charm and delight and we all feel for her when things aren’t going too well. But it all turns out fine in the end. Gok Wan as her Fairy Gokmother sees to that. It’s easy for us to see why see was nominated for Best Actress in a musical at the Stage Debut Awards in 2018. As a former student of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, I think we can claim her as our own.

We have two other ‘locals’ who also give fabulous performances as the baddies. The first time we see them, they do enter from the right side of the stage in real Pantomime tradition. Mike Doyle and Ceri Dupree whose ‘day job’ is a female impersonator make an absolutely nasty and hilarious pair of ugly sisters. As the show goes by they change into the most extraordinary and bizarre and glorious costumes all designed by Ceri Dupree.

We all do enjoy the hilarity they create but they are very nasty to Cinderella. Keeping her scrubbing the floors over and over again. She does have a good friend to help her. A kindly, very lovable young man, Buttons (Phil Butler). A performance full of softness in his feelings for Cinderella but great fun at other times. Comedy scenes with him and the two uglies are cleverly done and have us all rolling in our seats.

There is more than these excellent performers to entertain us. Musical Director Michael Morwood, with his five-piece band drives everything along with great verve for much of the time. They also underline the more gentle vocals with just the right touch of sensitivity.

As always Qdos gives us great and sparkling set designs. Choreographer and Assistant Director, Alan Harding introduces fast and furious dancing not just from the excellent dancers but also from the very young people from Cardiff’s Lorri Guppy School of Dance. Stage lighting is very important in pantomime, often providing moments of real magic. Another perfect job from lighting designer Chris Davey. The whole show is put together with a bold sweep from Director Matt Slack.

It’s a bit like having two handsome princes for the price of one. Rob Wilshaw’s Prince Charming and Dale Evans Dandini have great singing voices and the looks to charm everyone .

Cinderella does make the right choice. The Fairy Coach makes a great surprise entrance. In her sparkling frock and sparkling slippers that fit, Hughes’ Cinderella looks as if she has come straight out of a Fairy Tale as she takes her bow with her Handsome Prince and all the cast of wonderful people who have given us all wonderful treat.

All from the swish of The Fairy Gokmother’s Magic Wand. The audience rise from their seats in applause and snow falls over us all.

We also sang “Happy Birthday to You” to the New Theatre. On this day The New Theatre was celebrating its 113th Birthday

The Pantomime continues until Jan. 12 2020

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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