Cinderella an unmissable festive treat

By Rob Holcroft Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 11:04

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Buy photos » The Fairy Godmother (Ruth Madoc), Cinderella (Emma Nowell) and Buttons (Jamie Rickers). (s)


Malvern Theatres

UK Productions triumphantly return to Malvern Theatres this festive season, with the magical, rags to riches tale of Cinderella. They have breathed refreshing, new life into their show this year with the accomplished director, Scott Ritchie, whose choreographic background shines through in the telling of this fairytale.

A seasoned panto professional, Ritchie slickly directs a lovely cast to present a great story, with traditional pantomimic elements, interspersed with song and dance spectaculars.

Clearly inspired, Alastair Bull’s choreography is his best yet, with highlights including the Keystone Cops inspired woodland hunt and ‘Voguing’ in the palace ballroom. The professional dancers, many of whom are graduates of Cecilia Hall Dance Centre, excel themselves and revel in the opportunities afforded them, as do the current Cecilia Hall girls.

Rob Thorne Jnr brings his musical expertise to the mix to wow us with great vocal harmonies and instrumental accompaniment.

The legendary, iconic and truly wonderful Ruth Madoc opens the show as a mere ‘Fairy-on-top-of-the-Christmas-tree’ but soon finds herself promoted to the more matriarchal character of the Fairy Godmother that we expect. Hi-Di-Hi fans are in for a treat too! The brilliant Jamie Rickers gets the award for 'The Best Entrance On Stage Ever In The History Of Pantomime'.

His performance, as Buttons, is as hilarious as his physical comedy is impressive. Emma Nowell is absolutely adorable and perfect as the down-trodden, yet ever hopeful and kind Cinderella.

Don Crann portrays an understated and gentle Baron Hardup, while Bobbie Kent’s vertically challenged, ageing, ugly sister provides a perfect contrast to Anthony West’s more youthful and imposing sibling, whose fabulousness is reflected in his fantastic frocks.

An unexpected delight is to be found in the roles of Prince Charming and his valet Dandini, superbly played by Owen Thompson and Bobby Windebank respectively, as they croon, tap dance and even energetically ‘Gangnam Style’ it through the show.

This double act breathe a much needed and very welcome, new life and energy into these two characters, completing the ensemble.

Your Christmastime won’t be complete without this theatrical treat for all the family. Cinderella runs until Sunday, January 6. Check with Malvern Theatres for times of performances. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Rob Holcroft

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