This generally upbeat show gives us the repeated hurling of a giant necklace made of five toilet rolls (rather than “five go-old rings”) into the audience, several principals who, unusually, really can dance, the best ghost and ghoulie scene I’ve seen in a long while and excellent live music, under David Jonathan’s baton, ranging from the Downton Abbey theme to Tchaikovsky and Big Band.
Prince Charming and Dandini can be a dull, wet pair but not this time. Christopher Chandler’s Prince lives up to his name in terms of outstanding on-stage charisma. Chandler is also an arresting, fruity-voiced singer. He can act and dance well too. For once, you really can see what Cinderella (Chloe Madeley) sees in him. And Danny Young plays Dandini with plenty of in-your-face gore blimey attitude and terrific energy. Both performances are a pleasure to watch.
Jimmy Burton-Iles and Peter Brad-Leigh are such ugly sisters and so accomplished in their craft that at times they’re almost sinister rather than funny. It’s a fine line. Chris Edgerley dances beautifully as Buttons and his acting is reasonable but it’s a pity he delivers his jokes so fast and with such weak timing that he throws most of them away. Chloe Madeley is another fine dancer and she acts well but her singing is thin. And Michael Coughlan, often inaudible, and thankfully only on for a handful of scenes, should not have been cast as Baron Hardup.