Rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay, according to the old Danny and the Juniors hit. After last year’s hugely successful introduction of rock ‘n’ roll-themed pantomime with Aladdin, the City Varieties continues in that vein with a suitably spirited, let’s rock the joint staging of Cinderella.
The change in style was introduced by former Varieties manager Peter Sandeman after he had seen rock ‘n’ roll panto in full flow at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. It is a natural development from the style of previous Varieties pantomimes, which were celebrated for their youthful exuberance and choice of pop songs.
Audience involvement is there from the very beginning and not simply with calls and responses. Christopher Fry, as Baron Hardup, effectively breaks the fourth wall with his banter and his comic energy drives the show along.
Cinderella certainly rocks. It is written Peter Rowe, the doyen of rock panto writers, and just about everyone in the cast has experience of the style.
In the final scene Cinderella (Katie Elin-Salt) tells Prince Charming (Josh Pye) to push off when he proposes. Now that’s something some of us have waited a long lifetime to hear. But they do get together, to the strains of the Jackie Wilson hit Higher and Higher - played with infectious gusto.