Lots to like as Cinderella has a ball at The Cresset
There is something rather reassuring about going to see the Cresset panto... you know exactly what you are going to get; if you have been before you aren’t going to be disappointed.
This year it is Cinderella - classic panto.
It is not all sparkly and flash, but if you list the ingredients you expect from your annual traditional panto visit they are all in there - and then some.
For a start there is lashings of audience participation, the good old sing-a-long, and the “Oh yes I am, oh no you’re not” banter, and it is done very well , particularly the must-have auditorium chases which brought the characters and the paying public closer together.
The water pistols came out of course - I liked the little twist - and the Twelve Days of Christmas gag was very, very good. I thought the ghost gag fell a bit flat however.
There were some familiar, toe-tapping tunes, lots of classic cheesy panto-esque jokes thrown in and plenty of silliness... which the kids in the audience just loved.
Ricky Groves, of EastEnders fame, proved a great Buttons - really likeable from the minute he walked out. His “apple” watch sketch was a highlight. Great timing.
Lily Shires shone as Cinderella, another performer very comfortable on the stage, and a great voice. Her ‘Impossible’ duet with Fairy Godmother (Katie Paine) was sung superbly, with both in good voice. Cinderella’s anticipated transformation was not overly magical - although the carriage was spectacular.
Back at The Cresset again, Mitch Hewer was as charming as ever as the Prince - he acts and sings with great ease - and Zach Vanderfelt continued his impressive run as the theatre’s Dame.... even if he was playing Ugly Sister Donna.
His partner in crime was Lawrence Stubbings (Ugly Sister Bella). A regular and convincing panto villain he impressed and shared some good moments (the balloon sketch) with his equally, shockingly dressed sister.
Really impressive were the children’s dance ensemble - talent and enthusiasm to match their sparkling outfits.
Yes, go see Cinderella and have a ball!