Panto is back at Peterborough’s Key Theatre in the form of Cinderella and it is traditional with a capital T.
A well-told story (from David Griffin-Stephens) is developed by the Fairy Godmother (Susie Chaytow), Prince Charming (Hugo Caton) and Cinders herself (Thea Day, who just got better and better). The music and songs (Simon Hanson) were good, fitting the mood of the story, as was the singing and the dancing (particularly the young ensemble from the Key Youth Theatre) - great to watch.
Plenty of well-deserved applause but for me, it could all have done with a little more oomph at the beginning - this is panto after all.
However, the show really comes to life when the comic elements are added.
Enter Simon Aylin (as Buttons) who does this with gusto. He gets the audience going with lots of daft antics and Christmas cracker jokes and never lets up, but he cranks it up a notch or two with the set pieces; The Ghost Gag (Orton Mere Troll); Who, What,I Don’t Know: and What I Would Be. Standard fayre of panto but in this case brilliantly executed slapstick comedy from the top drawer by all involved (Simon Rhys-Jones as Dandini came into his own here).
By this point the excitable younger audience members were discovering what panto is all about.
A big shout out to the excellent Joe Beecroft and Stewart Briggs (Ugly Sisters Tess and Claudia). Good old fashioned “dames” who really worked well together, showing nice comic timing and a wonderful line in costumes. Great stuff.
No spoiler alert but take a bow whoever came up with the transformation scene. Loved it.
Cinderella runs until January 9. Tickets at https://keytheatrepeterborough.ticketsolve.com/