WHEN the magic of Christmas fades into a cold New Year it can leave you feeling a little miserable, but January also brings the All Souls pantomime, which is sure to put a smile back on your face.
After a much acclaimed performance of Aladdin last year producers were worried this year’s offering Cinderella wouldn’t measure up. They were wrong.
Cinderella is packed full of stellar performances from a very talented cast.
The show gets under way with the appearance of the evil Lady Cruella Hardup and her minions, who begin to plot Cinderella's demise.
Jessica Lowrie plays the evil queen brilliantly, revelling in the inevitable boos and hisses that come her way. Her two hapless assistants, Scratchy and Butts, played by Tracey Holmes-Smith and Vicky Newcombe respectively, also provide excellent performances.
The audience is then introduced to the village of Spellfall where times are hard due to the hefty taxes the villagers are forced to pay to fund Prince Charming’s lavish parties.
The villagers perform several songs – including the catchy Live While We’re Young and Hey Mickey – that showcase the vocal talents of the cast.
We also meet Buttons, Cinderella’s lifelong friend, who also happens to be in love with her. Sophie Parkes plays the friendly servant, clearly relishing her role, and went down especially well with the younger members of the audience.
The villagers aren’t blue for long when they are invited to Prince Charming’s 19th birthday party, at which he must find a wife.
Prince Charming wants adventure though and swaps places with his servant, Dandini, so he can experience life as a normal person; during this adventure he meets Cinderella and falls in love.
The rest of the tale runs as you’d expect but with some added surprises.
All of the cast impressed me with their performances but for me the ugly sisters stole the show with their witty dialogue and interaction with the audience.
Cliff Gillies and Hayley Murray, who play Claudia and Davina, had me and most of the audience laughing away with their saucy antics in their attempt to woo the prince away from Cinderella.
When the pair performed the classic I Know Him So Well it was a truly memorable moment that illustrated the duo’s vocal talent.
Cinderella is sure to brighten any winter’s day.