Writer: Andrew Pollard
Director: Ryan McBride
Reviewer: Sharon MacDonald-Armitage
Christmas festivities stormed into Salisbury Playhouse with an enormous pantomime bang as Cinderella opens to a full house of exuberant children and excited adults. Director Ryan McBride and writer Andrew Pollard have a sure fire hit on their hands with their adaptation of this pantomime stalwart. With an inventive set comprising clocks and cogs, colourful costumes and wigs that would make your hair stand on end there is no doubt that this production has something to appeal to everyone. From catchy pop songs, double entendres and the obligatory audience sing-a-long this is an evening full of fun and belly laughs.
Elaine Glover and Alex Hammond give wonderful performances as Cinderella and Prince Charming mixing just enough romance into the fun. Gbemisola Ikumelo plays a Fairy Godmother with a sassy attitude as she struts around the stage working her magic and singing like Beyonce. Jemma Churchill as the evil Baroness gets the most boos and hisses and she revels in the attention from the audience, her spider like costume and white streaked hair, reminiscent of the film Metropolis, strikes an imposing a slightly scary figure. Much comedy is made with Buttons, played by Patrick George and alongside his feathered friend Quakers, they receive many of the big laughs from the audience. Button’s unrequited love and inability to tell Cinderella he loves her, has the kids squealing with laughter and his rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love had everyone clapping and singing along. Equally funny is Leon Scott as Dandini whose interaction with the audience is natural and engaging.
However, it is Michael Cahill and Andrew Ashford as the ever so over the top ugly sisters that really steal the show. Their outlandish costumes and wigs that must take immense skill to keep them upright are a joy to behold. The bath routine as they prepare to get ready for the ball is very funny, especially more so when a couple of well known films make an unexpected appearance..
This is panto at its very best and at its most traditional; there are no 3D effects, no big celebrity names just excellent performances and an excellent show.
Runs until 9 January 2016 ¦ Image: Contributed