Tuesday, 23 December 2014

REVIEW - Cinderella at New Wimbledon Theatre

FOUR stars

IF there is a world shortage of glitter in the not too distant future I will know who to blame. The set designers of Cinderella now on at the New Wimbledon Theatre!
No expense has been spared and there is barely any space on the glorious set which hasn't been given the glitter treatment - it looks amazing, full of colour and sparkle.
But what of the show itself? There are stars galore - funnyman Tim Vine as Buttons, Dallas superstar Linda Gray as the Fairy Godmother, Matthew Kelly as one of the ugly step sisters and ballet dancer Wayne Sleep as Dandini - and there is also a star turn by two delightful Shetland Ponies.
The familiar story has been given a bit of an update - Cinderella, her father Baron Hardup and their oil business are being bled dry financially by her two step sisters who also treat Cinderella with contempt.
One day she meets the Prince in the woods but doesn't realise it's him as he introduces himself as Dandini. They fall in love but don't meet again until a grand ball is organised to help him find a wife.
Despite attempts by the step sisters to stop Cinderella from getting to the ball, the Fairy Godmother has other ideas and in true panto style ensures she gets Cinderella there on time thanks to a bit of magic and a wave of her glittery wand.
The script was funny and full of brilliant gags, the cast was top notch, the music was fantastic and the singing and dancing were spot on.
Thanks to the star billing of Linda Gray there are numerous and predictable references to Dallas - though presumably lost on anyone under the age of about 30. And for a first timer Linda did a great job - and on the night I was there even threw in a few ad libs.
There were many highlights in this fabulous show but a real treat was to see Wayne Sleep proving he still has what it takes to dance around the stage.
For me, the funniest was the chocolate sketch featuring Buttons and the ugly step sisters. It was very clever, fast and absolutely hilarious and had everyone crying with laughter at the end.
And I doubt there was a dry eye in the house at the end of the first act thanks to the entrance of Cinders in her coach led by the two Shetland ponies.
A fabulous show and another Wimbledon winner.

Cinderella is on at the New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway until Sunday, January 11. Tickets cost from £11.90. Visit www.atgtickets.com/wimbledon or call the box office on 0844 871 7646.

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