Adaptors: Alan McHugh and Michael Harrison
Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Llandudno’s Venue Cymru welcome the world’s largest pantomime provider Qdos entertainment to their theatre this festive season, in a production of the ever popular and timeless tale of Cinderella, given a contemporary twist by writers Alan McHugh and Michael Harrison.
Recruiting Jimmy Osmond to play the part of Cinderella’s father Baron Hardup is certainly a master stroke by Qdos, as his unfaltering fan-base has ensured that the pantomime is playing to packed houses at every showing.
Despite his back catalogue of songs being shoehorned into pretty much every scene, it is undeniable that Osmond is an excellent pantomime performer. His portrayal of Hardup is charmingly understated and it is clear that Osmond is loving every minute of his time in Llandudno.
Osmond is supported by much loved local funny man John Evans, who turns in an effortless performance as the pantomime’s unsung hero Buttons. Evan’s comic timing is impeccable and his ad-libs and interactions with both the audience and his fellow cast members are a joy to watch. Evan’s scenes with the hilarious ugly step sisters Roxy and Foxy (played wonderfully by Darren Southworth and Andy Brady) are a particular highlight of the show. The ‘straighter’ parts of Cinderella and Prince Charming are also performed admirably by Sarah Vaughan and Mark Adamson, whose accomplished singing voices also allow them to rise admirably to the challenges of this particularly musical pantomime.
Aside from the impressive performances, Cinderella also excels in other areas, which the production team are to be congratulated on. Director Michael Gyngell has created a slick and imaginative show which is complemented greatly by a rousing score (directed by Paul Sawtell) and a stunning set and lighting design by Matt England. The audience were certainly impressed by the transformation of a pumpkin into Cinderella’s horse and carriage; a beautiful and captivating ending to the first half of the show.
Arthur Gourounlian’s choreography is also worthy of mention and raises this above the average Christmas pantomime. The dance routines are performed brilliantly by Pearl Shaw dance Company and the younger members are adorable as Cinderella’s woodland creature friends.
Cinderella is an energetic, endearing and infectious pantomime and fully deserving of its high audience turn-out.
Running until 4thJanuary 2015