Writer: Eric Potts
Director: Chris Jarvis
Reviewer: Tom Finch
The Richmond Theatre panto, if not the biggest in london is surely one of the best. This year’s offering, Cinderella, is a traditional take on an old favourite with just the right amount of spectacle.
First and foremost, credit should go to the cast. Rarely does an entire company hit the right notes but in Chris Jarvis’ slick production every actor is en pointe. Matthew Kelly, who must be one of the country’s finest Dames. is joined by Matt Rixon who easily holds his own; the two of them play a couple of vapid airheads straight out of The Only Way is Essex. Rhiannon Chesterman is sweet without being saccharine as Cinderella and Andrew Derbyshire is a perfectly swaggering Prince Charming with a beautiful, powerhouse voice that can probably be heard in Twickenham.
There’s a great surprise in this production as Richard Vincent’s hilariously camp Dandini comes close to stealing the show. He certainly seemed to be a favourite among the grown-ups of the audience.
There are some wonderful moments in the show; there’s enough traditional panto gags including a brilliant, groan-inducing chocolate pun scene. There’s just the right amount of spectacle as well. The act one finale received numerous rounds of applause mid song. Cinderella’s onstage costume change is genuinely impressive and who doesn’t love Shetland ponies and snow are always a welcome sight.
They even manage to sneak in a bit of pathos. Cinderella is cruelly forced to rip up her own invitation to the ball in a deliciously cruel scene. Chris Jarvis’ Button’s attempt to cheer up his downtrodden friend is lovely to watch.
This panto is the perfect mix of old and new which is certain to delight theatregoers of all ages.
Runs until 10 January 2016 | Image: Craig Sugden