Panto Review: Cinderella Newcastle Theatre Royal
Cinderella – Theatre Royal Review by Mandy Charlton
Warning, this article contains a spoiler about something so fantastical that happens during the show that you shouldn’t read it if you are going to see Cinderella anytime soon, but it was too good not to mention. I do not want to be the person who spoils the magic.
Clive and Danny are back for their 18th Panto at the Theatre Royal, home of the most successful pantos in the whole country. It will be of no surprise that once again Cinderella is mildly based around the story but it’s probably not the focus of the show.
Joe McElderry is also back this year, our local national treasure to be protected at all costs adds to the high production values, much like Will Young, Joe could sing the alphabet and I’d listen to it quite happily.
Chris Hayward is also back playing the evil and sinister Baroness Voluptua along with her despicable geordie daughters Vindicata played by Kylie Ann Ford and Manipulata played by Christina Berriman Dawson.
The show opened with Joe singing Could it Be Magic? A slightly adapted version, I also loved the adapted version of “Somebody to Love” though who knows what Freddie would think of that!!
I haven’t laughed so much since the last time I went to panto a couple of years ago, it was the absolute tonic needed for dealing with real life in the UK at the moment and yes, there were jokes about Matt Hancock, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss thrown in for good measure. Clive Webb was funny as ever but my always highlight, the crazy, elastic faced slightly naughty Danny Adams once again shone as Buttons, it could be that he is the funniest man on the planet.
Cinderella played by Oonagh Cox put in a perfect performance alongside Wayne Smith as Prince Charming although as we Geordies know, a Theatre Royal panto is never really about them as much as it is about Clive and Danny and their crazy antics.
*spoiler alert* The performance itself was hilarious, sparkling, upbeat and magical, now when I say magical, I need to reveal that I actually cried just before the end of the first act when Cinderella’s carriage, full-sized with animatronic horses flew up from the stage and into the auditorium. In all of my years of going to the theatre, it’s probably the most magical thing I have ever seen and my inner child was blown away.
If you are coming to see Cinderella you are in for a treat, oh and I must of course mention for fans of the rubber-faced Mick Potts, yes, he’s back again this year too!! So leave your troubles at the door, dress lightly as the auditorium may be one of the warmest places in the UK right now and get ready to suspend disbelief, act like a 5-year-old and of course, spend a couple of hours laughing so much that when you go home you need a lie-down.
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