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Cinderella review at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth – ‘pace never slackens’

Phil Randall and Jack Edwards in Cinderella at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth Phil Randall and Jack Edwards in Cinderella at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth
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This refreshing Cinderella has a well balanced company, some clever innovations, particularly within the ballroom scene, fine lighting effects, superb audience participation and a pace that just never slackens. It’s just a pity that Cinderella is perhaps just a little too sexy to begin a rags-to-riches story.

In past years the effervescent Aiden J Harvey has brilliantly played the vital linking role in the Kings pantos. They have found a worthy successor in Matt Dallen, who steals the show as Buttons. He has endless energy, a flair for ad libs, projects well and a confidence that is vital in the comedy routines.

Jack Edwards (Rita) and Phil Randall (Cheryl) are two of the finest Ugly Sisters I have seen in recent years. Within a few minutes they are in the audience causing mayhem. They work so well together and their comedy is very visual and not laden with smut. The occasional adult humour is well tailored and not camped up.

The youngsters in the cast can learn so much from the stagecraft and professionalism of Anita Harris, as the evil Baroness. She flies on singing her huge 1967 hit Just Loving You and gets more boos in the first five minutes than she has had in a lifetime of light entertainment. A real masterclass – her strong projection should be noted by one or two of the cast.

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Verdict
One of the best pantomimes at the Kings in recent years with real teamwork, a perfect blend of youth and experience
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