Cinderella – Epstein Theatre
The much-loved production of Cinderella is brought to the Epstein Theatre, to entertain and enthuse Liverpool audiences in the typical pantomime style.
Producers Chantelle Nolan & Jane Joseph for Real Entertainments Ltd and director Chantelle Nolan did a fantastic job at bringing a magical family Christmas pantomime to the Epstein. They were treated to an evening of magical delight, fit with large ensemble dance numbers, spectacular costumes and a few famous familiar faces.
The first act introduced us to all the characters including Sammy Winward as Cinderella, Andrew Geater as the dashing Prince, the wonderful Samantha Palin as the Fairy Godmother, the hilarious pantomime favourite Lewis Devine as Buttons, Shameless star Warren Donnelly as Dandini and of course (how can you forget) Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters played by Benidorm’s Crissy Rock and Brookside’s Sarah White. As mentioned a whole host of recognisable names!
As the story goes, poor Cinderella is subject to a life of being a scullery maid condemned to following orders from her jealous step-sisters. With the arrival of a handsome Prince, who is on the search for a wife, his father Dandini decides to throw a ball with the hope of inviting every woman in the land, including sweet and caring Cinderella. Of course, her mean step-sisters are determined to prevent poor Cinders from attending the ball and try anything in their power to stop this from happening. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, and her trusted accomplice Buttons will Cinderella’s luck finally begin to change?
The first half had a whole host of classic hits such as ‘9 to 5’ and ‘It takes two’ as well as a few modern songs added to the mix, a clever choice when catering for the younger audience. Admittedly the first half felt a bit too long, and some of the story was lacking to make room for more moments of comedy, which mainly came from Buttons’ interactions, which seemed a hit with the audience. The second half however, really picked up the pace, offering more glitz and glamour, even more dance numbers, and a spooky 3D section where audience were invited to put on glasses to partake in a truly unique and fantastic pantomime experience, this really was a particular jump out moment!
Cinderella played by Emmerdale Sammy Winward, really did sweep everyone off their feet, with her angelic voice and endearing presence, she really did embody the perfect Princess. Samantha Palin wowed audiences with her big voice and her big costume, making a breathtaking entrance onto the stage. Lewis Devine as Buttons had audiences in stitches, and brought big energy and comedy throughout the production. It was interesting to see the Ugly Sisters play their characters with a posh accent considering they are Liverpool actresses, performing to a Liverpool audience. I cant help but think that embracing their Liverpudlian accents may have added to the humour of their performance and helped with the delivery of lines. That said, Crissy Rock unintentionally had audiences laughing in hysterics after an accidental costume blunder that gave audiences more than they bargained for, resulting in her using a cushion to protect her dignity, a credit to her for carrying on with the performance!
Of course, no pantomime is complete with out a happy ending and a jolly sing-along at the end and this production certainly did not disappoint on that front.
This is a truly wonderful family production, that will definitely get you feeling in the Christmas spirt.
Cinderella is showing at the Epstein Theatre until Sunday 5 January 2020.
For tickets click here