REVIEW - Cinderella at Malvern Theatres is glitzy, in your face and everything panto should be - The Malvern Observer

REVIEW - Cinderella at Malvern Theatres is glitzy, in your face and everything panto should be

Malvern Editorial 16th Dec, 2023 Updated: 17th Dec, 2023   0

THIS IS already my third panto review this season and the most noticeable thing about this year’s offerings is that they are the glitziest -in your face – productions since Covid said ‘Oh no you don’t’.

I’m so delighted those mask filled days of yore are gone and we can happily say about the pandemic ‘it’s behind you!’

Panto audiences are back doing what they do best in theatres at this time of the year – booing. hissing, cheering – not too mention the annoying, munching, swigging and behaving like children along with the children. Not tolerated in auditoriums any other time of the year but here it’s all part of pantomime etiquette.

Malvern offers a dazzling production of Cinderella on stage this year, complete with live white ponies pulling Cinderella’s jewel encrusted coach to the prince’s ball – enough to melt the hearts of the biggest bah humbug begrudges.

There is a bevy of beautiful backdrops, stunning costumes, magical music from Tom Self and a hardworking ensemble including child stars of tomorrow from Cecilia Hall Dance Centre.

Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn heads up the principals as the Fairy Godmother bringing the Malvern Hills alive with the sound of Manchurian mirth.

Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph take on with alacrity the task of being the butt of the boos as the ugly sisters and Behan Jacks is as delightful as she is delectable as their half sister Cinderella.

Actually in this production it was refreshing too see Cinderella is more liberated than the usual house slave portrayal.

Maybe this is because her stepmum is absent from the cast list and she just has a daft but doting dad – that’s Mark Faith as Baron Hard-Up.

Seasoned musical theatre star Jordan Lee Davies is also a three dimensional Laddie as opposed to the traditional thigh slapping lady as the Prince’s minder Dandini and the high note hitting Ben Brooker is a real charmer as the Prince.

Back for his umpteenth season at Malvern is Mark James – this year as Buttons. He’s the story lynch pin and it has to be said that much of the success of Malvern panto’s is down to his infectious personality. Oh yes it is!

Director Benji Sperring commendably mixes tradition with originality, but I couldn’t quite understand why he’d introduced a long, wordy prologue. It adds little and up holds up the action.

Once that is out of the way it’s festive fun for the next rollicking two hours leaving us smiling and craving mulled wine and mince pies.

Cinderella at Malvern runs until January 7. Click here for times, tickets and more information.


Review by Euan Rose

Euan Rose Reviews


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