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Cinderella – The Rock’n’Roll Panto review at New Wolsey Ipswich

Those who enjoy the shocking violence of Tom and Jerry will be in thrall to the joys of the New Wolsey rock’n’roll panto. Musical director Julian Littman, sound designer Simon Deacon and engineer Andrew Wales deserve a flesh-stinging slap on the back for making sure that every thwack and kerpow is an exercise in aural hilarity. One criticism, though, and it’s a small one. The actors hitting or being hit need to give it more welly – with the sound and the props so superb, it’s just a shame that the actual act of exaggerated violence is often portrayed rather apologetically. Go on, go for it! How painful can it be being hit with a sponge mayoral mace, after all?

As for the other aural components, the actor-musicianship is up to the impeccable standards now taken as red with the Wolsey. Sarah Scowen (as a refreshingly opinionated Cinders), Lauren Storer (Fairy Godmother) and Kit Orton (Dandini) showed especial vocal talent, particularly on the more soulful tunes. The mood-laden Temptations and Chi-Lites numbers really went down a treat, which begs the question – why bother with the ten a penny rock’n’roll standards which 100 other pantos include?

In terms of characterisation, Esther Biddle’s evil stepmother was a classic of the genre – sadistic, vainglorious and thoroughly loveable. So good in fact, that she rather overshadows ugly sisters Anthony Coote and Justin Brett. Orton and Adam Baxter (Buttons) also commanded the stage and relentless jokes superbly.

Overall, bravo to another kitsch, clever Christmas show. Just drop the rock’n’roll theme next year and concentrate on putting the fun in ‘funky’ instead.

Production Information

New Wolsey, Ipswich, November 27-January 31 Producer: New Wolsey Theatre

Authors
Peter Rowe, Alan Ellis
Director
Peter Rowe
Cast
Lauren Storer, Mark Stanford, Kit Orton, Kieran Cunningham, Adam Baxter, Sarah Scowen, Esther Biddle, Justin Brett, Anthony Coote, Charlie Wade
Running time
2hrs

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