The Princes Theatre is a huge barn of a venue and to fill it with fun and laughter (particularly at 10am on a cold Tuesday morning) takes some effort. The Polka Dot Pantomime Company provides Clacton with a bright and breezy production of Cinderella which more than fills the space available. A young cast gives it a very seasonal amount of welly and hundreds of school kids and one crusty critic enjoy the production.
A scene from Cinderella at the Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea
Dean Gaffney is a likeable Buttons and has the young audience on his side very quickly even if he does allow his dog Wellard to widdle on those fortunate enough to be in the front few rows. This Cinders has two fairies, one Superior (Anne-Louise Finlayson in firm control) and one in training, the perky Flustered, played with irrepressible energy by Gemma Andrew. Muriel and Millicent are the two awful sisters and draped in a multitude of multi-coloured outfits they soon have the audience telling them that they are NOT adorable. Noah Young and Harry Howle are the performers beneath the draperies and very funny they are. Jamie Lee Pike is a personable Cinderella and sings with style. David Hinton Gale is a charming Prince Charming and Adam Ryan his faithful sidekick Dandini.
The transformation scene has the wow factor as Cinders flies off behind a white winged horse and the ball is very pretty indeed.