There’s a lot of energy expended by a large company, much audience participation, plenty of shouting, but the essential magic for this most magical of panto stories unfortunately gets lost somewhere among the hectic action.
We’re in France (Cinderella is one of Perrault’s most popular tales), the King has a French accent but Prince Charming has apparently returned from Las Vegas (those peecturres!) without one - accent, that is. The Ugly Sisters are coarse rather than grotesque. Jay Brown as Fatima Hardup and Jack Downey as Fanny H work hard, appear in some garish get-ups, fight in the audience and onstage, but remain somewhat leaden.
Grace Wheeler is a pleasant Cinders, sings charmingly and looks good on the back of a motorbike as she zooms off to the ball. Jeanne Stacey leers vociferously as the Stepmother while Ben Hawkins struts around regally as Prince Charming. Sidekick Dandini in the fine form of Conor O’Sullivan is appropriately helpful. Apart from a rather annoying odd laugh Daniel James endears himself to his young audience as a sincere and likeable Buttons. Kate Coysten waves her wand with conviction as the Fairy Godmother.
Not vintage Rhodes, but enjoyable nevertheless.