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Review of Cinderella at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Cinderella Canterbury Panto- Pamela Raith Photography
Cinderella Canterbury Panto- Pamela Raith Photography

The Christmas season is upon us once again, but forget about Santa and presents and mince pies. This means it’s also panto season (oh yes it is!).

The Marlowe Theatre is back in fine form again this year with a fun-filled telling of the timeless classic, Cinderella. Paul Hendy’s energetic production is a fantastic affair with the perfect blend of both traditional and modern. There are all the usual bits you’d expect from any panto such as ghosts in the woods, outrageously silly costumes, groan-inducing jokes and of course a good old pop tune or two, but this Cinderella is also an independent woman who doesn’t need a man to look after her – a message which is delivered with oodles of sassiness by 8-year-old Muriel.

As expected there’s plenty of highlights to be found, including a rave-themed ball, a great scene revolved around the fitting of the crystal slipper, and Cinderella’s spectacularly magical transformation which involved foamy snowfall, a quick dress change and live ponies on the stage.

There was also the return of the Marlowe’s signature wheelbarrow of puns, thirty-five of them delivered at a quick-paced speed and this time based around a Disney theme (a Lidl mermaid anyone?).

There’s a strong cast in this year’s show too. Cara Dudgeon gives the audience a sweet and kind Cinderella who also takes no nonsense, and impresses with the powerful deliverance of her musical numbers, while Oliver Watton plays opposite her as the perfectly handsome, if rather corny, Prince Charming. There are also great performances from former soap stars Sally Lindsay as a hapless and slightly drunk Fairy Godmother and Harry Reid as Dandini – if you’ve ever wanted to see Ben from EastEnders rap, then this is the show to see. Children’s entertainer Phil Gallagher also makes a highly entertaining return as Cinderella’s loved-up sidekick Buttons, and Patrick Clancy gives a great panto turn as Cinderella’s father Baron Hardup as he brings a little slice of the West End to Canterbury (although he doesn’t like to talk about it!). The guest performance act this year was Duo Fusion, whose aerial silk display accompanied by Dudgeon and Watton’s duet of One Night Only was both thrilling and enchanting to watch.

Of course, a Marlowe Theatre pantomime just wouldn’t be the same without the fantastic comedy duo of Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett, who this year teamed up as Ugly Stepsisters Donaldina and Melania. The bad guys you love to hate, their comedic timing and hilarious one-liners are always spot on and they never fail to light up the stage.

The Marlowe Theatre has earned a reputation of putting on one of the best pantomimes around, and this year’s solid effort is no exception. Cinderella is a non-stop delight, filled with topical humour, great song and dance numbers and plenty of audience participation, all of which is brilliantly complemented by the impressive glittering sets and stage effects. Cinderella shall go to the ball and every family should go to the Marlowe Theatre to see Cinderella this season!

4 stars

Review by Julie Robinson

Don’t miss this year’s fun-filled, family pantomime Cinderella, with a star-studded cast including Harry Reid (EastEnders), children’s favourite, Phil Gallagher (CBeebies’ Mister Maker), national treasure, Sally Lindsay and Marlowe legends, Ben Roddy (Dame of the Year 2017/18) and Lloyd Hollett.

Once again, the show will be written and directed by Paul Hendy and produced by Evolution, the same team behind the Box Office smash-hit, Peter Pan (which sold over 100,000 tickets!).

The Marlowe Theatre pantomime has a reputation for being one of the biggest and best in the country and Cinderella promises to be our most spectacular show ever so don’t be late for the ball… book today!

Cast List
Dandini – Harry Reid
Buttons – Phil Gallagher
Fairy Godmother – Sally Lindsay
Donaldina – Ben Roddy
Melania – Lloyd Hollett
Baron Hardup – Patrick Clancy
Prince Charming – Oliver Watton
Cinderella – Cara Dudgeon

Aerialists: Connor Byrne & Tiffany Gaine (Duo Fusion)

Writer & Director: Paul Hendy
Choreographer Jono Kitchens
Costume Designer: Helga Wood
Set Designer: Phil Daniels & Michelle Marden
Lighting Designer: Peter Harrison

Fri 23 Nov 2018 ‐ Sun 6 Jan 2019

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  • MissJulie

    Julie is a theatre enthusiast, and is particularly keen on new writing. She writes articles each week for our website including a popular weekly ‘In Profile’ which features actors and actresses that are not in lead roles and are often in the Ensemble.

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