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“Warm and charming”

With years of experience presenting shows at Buxton Opera House, writer and director Philip Dart knows what Buxton audiences want and he consistently delivers the goods.

This year’s production of Cinderella is a subtle, low-key affair. Though there are no real stand-out moments, it’s an enjoyable and satisfying show. What it lacks in big-name stars or lavish special effects, it makes up for in warmth and charm.

It takes a while for Jamie Barwood and James Holmes, as Ugly Sisters Melania and Ivana, to get the audience on side but, after a slow start, their understated double act ends up being one of the highlights of the show. Their humorous banter is clever and largely innuendo-free. Barwood also features in one of the show’s funniest scenes when he dances a comedy tango in the manner of Strictly. Ryan Bennett is a pleasing Prince Charming with a great singing voice; Shannon Flynn does well in the title role and Ross Barbour works hard as Buttons.

The effects let things down a bit – when Cinders prepares to head to the ball, her coach is static and poorly lit. But these are blips in an otherwise enjoyable show.

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Production Details
Production nameCinderella
VenueBuxton Opera House
StartsDecember 12, 2019
EndsJanuary 1, 2020
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorPhilip Dart
DirectorPhilip Dart
Musical directorAdam Gerber
ChoreographerTracey Iliffe
Costume designerJo Deaville
Lighting designerIan Wilson
Sound designerTerry Saunders
CastAlasdair Baker, Emily Juler, James Holmes, Jamie Barwood, Ryan Bennett, Shannon Flynn, Connor Hignell, Hannah Shackell, Ross Barbour
Stage managerVernon Marshal
ProducerBuxton House, Ctp Pantomimes
VerdictWarm and charming, if rather low-key, family pantomime
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