Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Cinderella review at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax – ‘plenty of seasonal magic’

Cinderella at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax Cinderella at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax
by -

This is a lively family pantomime that still believes in fairies. Instead of the semi-comic wand waggler that is fast becoming standard fairy fare, experienced children’s writers Iain Lauchlan and Will Brenton make the Fairy Godmother both a dreamweaver and a catalyst for transformation, climaxing in an expertly choreographed sequence when Ann Micklethwaite’s radiant enchantress summons-up a flying, horse-drawn carriage that takes Cinderella’s downtrodden life in a new direction.

The show adheres to the tradition of the gender-blurring female principal boy. Claire Trusson and Katherine Lunney invest Prince Charming and Dandini with all the right over-the-top, manly swagger. Likewise, Tim Churchill and Steve Fortune’s cosmetically challenged Ugly Sisters, wearing a succession of deranged frocks, are obvious caricatures.

Carly Burns’ Cinderella is certainly no winsome pushover for these two harridans, and Neil Hurst’s jolly Buttons has no trouble drawing the audience into the story. Combining imaginatively staged chorus work with powerful vocals, Robert Marsden’s production easily brings out a clear moral message too – and even includes a fresh twist on the ghost gag.

However, an underpowered slosh scene just looks messy and things tend to flag in the second half, while the cast battle against an ear-grating sound system that probably requires a fairy fix.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Rooted in pantomime heritage, this show delivers plenty of up-to-the-minute seasonal magic