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BWW Review: CINDERELLA, Royal and Derngate

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BWW Review: CINDERELLA, Royal and Derngate

BWW Review: CINDERELLA, Royal and Derngate

Cinderella comes to the Royal and Derngate this year for their panto - headlined by Anita Dobson, Bernie Clifton and Cbeebies' Sid Sloane. And they do exactly what you'd expect: the doof-doofs for Anita, Bernie's got his ostrich, and the kids in the audience love Sid's Dandini.

David Dale and Tommy Wallace's Ugly Sisters are a highlight - with good schtick and plenty of whacky costumes; and Martyn James's blend of magic and old-school variety is made for panto season. The script is slight, and has an over-reliance on fart jokes, even for a pantomime.

But the cast are clearly having a lot of fun, and are probably at their best with the unscripted stuff - although if all of Harris's stuff was on purpose, Charlotte Haines (Cinderella) needs to work on her poker face! In fact Cinderella, Prince Charming (Dan Partridge) and Fairy Godmother (Jacinta Whyte) actually have the least to do - as both the Hardups get their own songs (Queen for Dobson and Andrew Lloyd Webber for Clifton) as well as the skits.

The production has all that you would expect from a Qdos panto: there's pyro, and flashing lights, a pop song or two, and plenty of audience interaction. But it's not doing anything clever or different - the Brexit jokes could have been in last year's script. There's nothing groundbreaking here and sometimes it's a little dated - even I don't really remember "Just One Cornetto", and I was not alone in an audience full of children and their parents.

But I think there's probably a joke for everyone, the kids in the audience enjoyed themselves, and it felt like they'd made an effort to localise the script. The opening song had Northampton name-checked in what felt like every other line, and the rest of the local references had a bit more research behind them that you'd expect.

And a word to the wise - do not assume that you're out of range of Bernie Clifton's water pistol, no matter how far back you are...

Cinderella at Royal and Derngate until 29 December

Photo credit: Robert Day

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From This Author Verity Wilde