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Cinderella review at Nottingham Playhouse – ‘warm-hearted and loveable’

The cast of Cinderella at Nottingham Playhouse. Photo: Robert Day The cast of Cinderella at Nottingham Playhouse. Photo: Robert Day

Kenneth Alan Taylor has been writing and directing panto at the Nottingham Playhouse for over three decades and still has them eating out of his hand – there’s even a line: “If we gave you new jokes, you’d think you’d come to the wrong pantomime.”

John Elkington, meanwhile, has perfected the arch and enigmatic northern matron, with demurely crossed wrists. He’s on fine form as the Ugly Sister, Bella, paired with Darren Southworth’s Donna and given added impetus by Rebecca Little’s leather-clad Duchess Dowager Deville.

They’re not that nasty, to be honest, and you have to love them when they break into the recklessly physical routine that the audience has come to expect and is once again a highlight of the performance. This year it’s a rap: Watch Me.

Tim Frater makes a welcome return as Buttons, Adam Pettigrew is a robust and likeable Dandini and Kelly Agredo’s Cinderella is without artifice. James Nicholson, as her Prince Charming, sings The Rose with stilling conviction.

There’s slick choreography from Adele Parry and a set from Tim Meacock that, in its vivid colours and fine detail, resembles an illuminated manuscript. Lovely.

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Traditional, crowd-pleasing panto performed by a warm-hearted and lovable cast