Firstly, I know that after seeing Hackneys 'Mother Goose' the other night that I will be wishing I saw that one last and maybe it will take the pain a way of all the others I'll see. "Cinderella' at the Wimbledon Theatre is the complete opposite to Susie McKennas brilliant production at Hackney even tho in Wimbledon they are using her script from Hackney a few years ago. The production is strictly by numbers and they just add up to a very loud and expensive looking panto. Theres just no heart there and the company just seem to walk the show. The stand out performance is from Joanna Page from TVs 'Gavin and Stacy' as Cinderella who is strong little actress with a passable sing voice. Her Prince Charming is Gareth Gates in his first stage role. as a panto prince he's passable but with a major west End musical role coming up in just 8 weeks he has a lot to learn from the schools of stage presence and charm!. If these two ever got married I know who would be wearing the trousers. Most productions of 'Cinderella', or most pantos for that mater, work or fail on the role of the Dame. 'Cinderella' of course always offers a double dose with The Ugly Sisters. Wimbledon has Andrew Ryan and Graham Hoadley as Lav and Lou in some brilliantly camp and every growing costumes. There routines are pretty funny even tho much of it is reworked from the partnership of Nigel Ellacott and Peter Robins-the Queens of The Ugly Sisters in the UK- seen in Wimbledon on almost every other time 'Cinderella' plays there. At times it felt that they were almost afraid of their audience! Alistair McGowan is just Alistair McGowan in his role as Baron Hardup- a thankless role whoever plays it. The show loks very expensive and is incredible loud, sometimes preventing any lyrics to be heard at all. As I said, its panto by numbers with no heart- Hackney is the plce to be for heart. Now, Im bracing myself for a 45 year old 'Peter Pan' in Richmond tomorrow night. At least at all these pantos if you're attention slips you have the wonderful auditoriums to take in. 'Second star to the right and straight on till Richmond'
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