PANTO season is in full swing and this year Croydon’s Fairfield Halls has pulled out all the stops to create an amazing show.
Their offering this year is the classic Cinderella and it is a real winner.
It tells the familiar tale of Cinders and her dreams of meeting and then marrying a Prince while being bullied by her two step sisters – in this show they are called Beatrice and Eugenie.
To help keep her spirits up she has Buttons by her side and a Jamaican Fairy Godmother.
Between them they manage to get Cinders to the ball in time and it’s there that she dances the night away with the Prince.
So far so trad but it’s the staging that really makes this show. Full of sparkly costumes, new takes on familiar tunes and more than a sprinkling of magic from Stephen Mulhurn’s Buttons it was a real treat.
There are also some very clever effects – none more so than right at the end of Act One when Cinderella comes face to face with her carriage – pulled by a winged horse – it was a jaw dropping moment that had the audience gasp as one and go “wow!”
The second half was even better than the first as the writers had really ramped up the comedy. Gags came thick and fast and had us all crying with laughter. There were plenty of scene stealers - not least the one with Buttons and Dandini and a skit with a barrow of board games.
The acting was spot on too. Joanna Sawyer as Cinderella had more than a touch of Taylor Swift about her and her scenes with Benjamin Brook’s Prince Charming were very sweet - just the right side of cheesy!
Lisa Davina Phillip was superb as the Fairy Godmother and the two ugly sisters – Matt Daines and Stewart Wright – were suitably ugly and horrid and had everyone booing in unison.
But the stand out was Buttons – together with Steve Wickenden as Dandini, he really got the audience going and had everyone in stitches with his silly jokes.
A real Christmas cracker!
Cinderella is on at Fairfield Halls, Croydon until Sunday, January 3. Tickets from £18. Visit www.fairfield.co.uk or call the box office on 020 8688 9291 for full listings.