Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto does all the things that good pantomime should do. Staged in northern London’s theatre hub artsdepot (in association with The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich) – it’s fun, funny, full of catchy tunes, not so refined humour and lots of opportunities for the audience to participate. And it’s acted so incredibly well.
Being the Mayor of Finchley, Baron Hardup has it really tough. His fortune is mostly imaginary, his marriages don’t really last that long and he only has a staff of two – and that’s including his fine-looking daughter, Cinderella. But, he is just an inch away from finally finding a real love, impersonated in Madam Rubella De Zees. She is a lady with baggage, namely her (differently) beautiful offspring, Hernia and Verruca who are really keen to marry the Prince not knowing that his heart is, obviously, already taken.
Based on the lovely, glittery and evergreen (much like the Christmas tree) story of Cinderella and Prince Charming, The Rockin’ Panto executes its twist in a surprisingly charming way. It features most typical pantomime gags, down to the Fairy Godmother (here affectionately referred to as Fairy G.) and main villain (not so affectionately referred to as Rubella De Zees) entering the stage from the ‘proper’ sides. Complete with a lovely pantomime horse and some very cool songs including hyper-bops such as It’s Raining Men, Downtown and Shut Up and Dance.
It also features a multi-talented cast who, apart from acting and singing, also serve as a band. Chioma Uma is absolutely lovely as Cinderella. She has a delightful timbre, and contagious smile that lights up the stage.
Guy Freeman a good-hearted servant who is head over heels in love with Cinderella, and Steve Simmonds as Baron Hardup, are both utterly hilarious.
Prince Charming (Christ Vince) and his friend Dandini, ultra-popular rock-star (Samuel Pope) are charming and likeable, and they give a wonderfully over the top rendition of Three Steps to Heaven. Nicola Bryan – Fairy G. and Georgina White – Rubella De Zees are both alluring and engaging in their Good vs Evil fight – and, boy, they can sing. Especially White – not only is her voice strong, her technique is extremely impressive.
Tom Connor and Daniel Carter-Hope also give a hysterical portrayal of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters.
It is a lovely, funny and engaging show, full of hidden (and not so hidden) 18+ innuendos. The costumes are fantastic, the stage design is very clever, and it is generally just as fun as any Panto should be.
Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto is at artsdepot until Sunday 5th January 2020. For information and to book tickets click here