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REVIEW: Hard not to love Eden Court's panto Cinderella


By Margaret Chrystall

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REVIEW: Cinderella

Eden Court

5 stars

It would be hard not to love Eden Court’s panto this year – it’s everything we have been missing through lockdown.

Cinderella with – from left – Ross Allan as Buttons, Steven Wren as Nanny Rosie and Jen Neil as Cinderella.
Cinderella with – from left – Ross Allan as Buttons, Steven Wren as Nanny Rosie and Jen Neil as Cinderella.

But Cinderella is vintage panto at its best. Fun, singalongs, cheesy jokes, big numbers, daft routines and loveable characters – it’s a great big tick against all of them.

The story whizzes along from the moment the pink and sparkly fairy godmother decides to show not tell us about Cinderella’s birthday and the day the ugly sisters arrived – looking very Strawberry Switchblade for those of a certain age – with their big hair in bunches look.

But things really come alive when the dream team hit the stage – Ross Allan as Buttons and Steven Wren as dame Nanny Rosie, seem to take seconds to have youngsters and adults alike singing, laughing, booing and joining in for the rest of the night, right on cue.

We miss the youngsters in the chorus this year, though the four adults inject pzazz to the package.

Jen Neil as Cinders and Jamie Crockart as Prince Charming The Third have great voices and add romance. Also with powerful voices are the baddie family, wicked stepmother Marj Hogarth and in a timely nod to #MeToo, perhaps, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves is a big number from Charlotte Forbes and Martine McMenemy as Potpourri and Pollyanna.

But when it comes to the best bits, where do you start? The show is packed with them!

So many contenders – action song The 12 Days Of Christmas with its Yessir I Can Boogie bit; Rudolf Nurofen and Busty Darcell’s balloon ballet – a brilliant pastiche of every ballet spoof you’ve ever seen, with knobs on; Buttons' and Cinders' lipsynch routine; Buttons and Rosie’s Haley, daily, gaily tongue twisters.

There’s even a fleeting and devastatingly funny Boris impression that drew a gale of laughter.

Cinderella is on now at Eden Court until Saturday, January 8.

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