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“Crackingly good”

In a game of 2018 panto Bingo, Evolution’s crackingly good Cinderella at St Albans would be victorious in no time.

Quick-fire gags? All present and correct (“She said I couldn’t make a car out of spaghetti. I proved her wrong when I drove pasta”), with a brilliant turn from seasoned St Albans panto performer Bob Golding (who also directs) as Dandini, establishing a great comic double act with Ian Kirkby’s avuncular Baron Hardup.

References to Brexit and Trump? Tick and tick: Hugh O’Donnell and Aaron Alexander are delightfully grotesque as ugly sisters Donaldina and Melania in numerous garish outfits, including union jack dresses and, ingeniously at one point, even as McDonald’s burger and fries.

Flossing? Yep, the dance move of the moment is provided by Ben Faulks, a solidly sympathetic Buttons. The choreography is impressive throughout, with tightly orchestrated song-and-dance routines. As Cinders, Jemma Carlisle provides the best vocal performance, her note-perfect delivery adding to her appeal.

A 1990s pop star? Step forward S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens, who makes for a wholesome, if slightly bland, Fairy Godmother. But the magic-carriage effects are terrific: you’ll believe a pumpkin can fly.

House! This is a fantastic pantomime with everything that young children and their families will want, and then some. If panto is a child’s first experience of theatre, we can take heart: the cheering, riveted kids at St Albans will be back again and again.


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Production Details
Production nameCinderella
VenueAlban Arena
LocationSt Albans
StartsDecember 6, 2018
EndsJanuary 6, 2018
Running time2hrs 15mins
AuthorPaul Hendy
DirectorBob Golding
Musical directorDave Adey
ChoreographerWill Maskell
Set designerHelga Wood
Costume designerHelga Wood
Lighting designerRichard Williamson
Sound designerPhil Wilson
CastAaron Alexander, Ben Faulks, Bob Golding, Hugh O’Donnell, Ian Kirkby, Jemma Carlisle, Kane Oliver Parry, Rachel Stevens
Stage managerJasmin Hay
ProducerEvolution Productions
VerdictWith quick-fire gags, magical effects and charming song routines, this Cinderella delivers family entertainment in spades
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