Cinderella review at Regent Theatre, Hanley – ‘enjoyable but unimaginative’
Staffordshire Potteries star Jonathan Wilkes reprises his panto partnership with Christian Patterson to bring us another joyful hometown winner. As co-directors, these veterans of Hanley pantos ensure that the laughs keep coming thick and fast, to the particular delight, no doubt, of first-timers in the audience.
Regular panto-goers, on the other hand, may still laugh but will have heard all the jokes many times over during Wilkes’ 11-year reign as the Regent’s golden boy.
While this show scores few points for originality – the comedy set pieces are all from the file marked ‘tried and tested’ – it doesn’t stint on visual spectacle, courtesy of wonderful costumes and fantastic sets.
One of the few genuine ‘wow’ moments comes during the transformation scene when Cinderella (Finley Guy) sees her work dress change into a beautiful ball gown before her very eyes – an illusion worthy of a top-class magic show.
As Buttons, Wilkes keeps the audience on-side with his cheeky charm and jokey local references and spars well with Patterson and Simon Nehan in their roles as ugly sisters Beyonce and Rihanna.
All very enjoyable and truly traditional but it would be nice to see something a bit more imaginative and innovative.