From start to finish, De Montfort Hall’s production of Cinderella was an absolute joy-fest – the perfect Christmas panto, which ticks all the right boxes – and then some!
The show has everything you could possibly want from a pantomime; fun, magic, jokes, high energy and plenty of festive sparkle to keep kids (and adults) entertained throughout…
They were captivated by the titular character of Cinderella, played to perfection by CBeebies presenter Evie Pickerill. She had all the sweetness and warmth that you’d expect – a beauty who belted out popular songs like ‘Higher Love’ with pitch perfect precision.
Throughout much of the show, ‘Cinders’ could be seen sweeping the stage in a dress made of rags. However, (as per the well-known storyline), approximately half-way through, she is transformed into the ‘belle of the ball’ – a moment which has to be one of the most breathtaking spectacles I have seen on stage…
This transformation is a truly magical moment, and one which is elevated by the powerful vocal performance of Madison Swan – Cinderella’s glorious fairy godmother.
For me, this entire sequence was a definite highlight – a real ‘wow moment’ of the show, and one which I won’t be forgetting any time soon…
In contrast to this, there were also moments of pure hilarity within Cinderella – plenty of witty jokes and a unique (and highly entertaining) version of the ‘12 Days of Christmas,’ which descended into utter madness on stage. This was a super high energy sequence, which had me (and many others) laughing out loud, and children squealing with delight at the sheer silliness of it all!
It involved my favourite character, ‘Buttons’, who provided many of the laughs within the show. Cinderella’s most loyal friend was played with great skill by comedian Jarred Christmas, who did a great job of engaging with the audience and keeping energy high with his charisma, wit and genuine warmth. The New Zealander commanded the audience throughout, and delivered plenty of hilarious jokes – designed to not only tickle children, but also the adults in the audience as well!
Another stand out character from the show, had to be that of ‘Prince Charming,’ brought to life by pro-dancer AJ Pritchard, of Strictly Come Dancing fame. I couldn’t take my eyes off the pint sized performer, as he pirouetted across the stage – spinning seamlessly with such dazzling precision. And that smile… A charming man indeed, and perfect for the role!
AJ’s brother Curtis (Pritchard), played the supporting role of Dandini, and was another handsome charmer (albeit a taller one!), with bags of charisma.
Also a skilled dancer, Curtis complimented his brother on stage, and the sight of the two of them dancing side by side, in dazzling sequins, was truly a delight to behold!
Playing until January 2 at De Montfort Hall, this production of Cinderella is a colourful and highly entertaining spectacle, which is not to be missed – the perfect way to put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and some magic in your heart just before Christmas.
By Louise Steel