In this entertaining production, Cinderella sets off to the ball in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage that actually flies through the air.
This, together with Michelle Marden’s impressive sets, Helga Wood’s costumes and a superb dance team, gives the show a tangible feeling of class, building on the Garrick’s richly deserved reputation for presenting pantos with high production values.
Paul Hendy’s script serves up the traditional tale in a way that will delight purists while also injecting a degree of modernity, particularly Cinderella’s rejection of the expectations of men. There’s rap music thrown into the mix, too, and the jokes, while still corny, are fresh and imaginative, thanks in part to the masterful delivery of Herbie Adams’s Dandini.
While there aren’t many big set-pieces, a Strictly Come Dancing sequence featuring a wickedly funny take-off of the show’s presenters, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, really hits the mark.
Beccy Lane does a strong job in the title role and has a great singing voice, as does her Prince Charming, played by Dominic Griffin. Rebecca Keatley makes a fun Fairy Godmother.
Director Sam Rabone works hard as Buttons but he’s not a natural for the role and should stick with what he does best – playing dame, as he has in previous years.