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“Lively, lovely and lavishly designed”

Finding the tricky balance between spectacle and sincerity, the Marlowe Theatre’s Cinderella is a finely-tuned fairytale.

Written and directed by Paul Hendy, it’s unswervingly traditional, loaded with all the usual skits and catchphrases you’d expect, but acknowledging contemporary sensibilities with a few jokey tweaks. Early on, the script takes time to articulate the message that Cinders, being a modern woman, doesn’t need anyone to look after her after all.

In the title role, Cara Dudgeon is all wholesome enthusiasm and cheerful determination, but belts out her songs with a tremendous, powerful voice. Heading a solid ensemble, experienced dames Lloyd Hollett and Ben Roddy work the crowd skilfully as lying, bullying stepsisters Melania and Donaldina. Sally Lindsay makes a likeably flawed, low-key drunk Fairy, while BAFTA nominated children’s entertainer Phil Gallagher brings heart and a rare bittersweet note to his role as friend-zoned footman Buttons.

Lush sets by Michelle Marden present pleasant picture book backdrops doused in glitter, with seamless changes transforming the space at impressive speed. A few well judged gimmicks add to the charm, with live ponies, a soap sud snowfall, and an intervention from a gigantic hand of god all providing fleeting but memorable moments.


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Production Details
Production nameCinderella
VenueMarlowe Theatre
StartsNovember 23, 2018
EndsJanuary 6, 2019
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorPaul Hendy
DirectorPaul Hendy
Musical directorChris Wong
ChoreographerJono Kitchens
Set designerMichelle Marden
Costume designerHelga Wood
Lighting designerPeter Harrison
Sound designerPhil Wilson
CastOliver Watton, Ben Roddy, Cara Dudgeon, Harry Reid, Lloyd Hollett, Patrick Clancy, Phil Gallagher, Sally Lindsay
Stage managerEmily Blaxland, Katie Stimson, Simon Gillies
ProducerEvolution Productions
VerdictLively, lovely, and lavishly designed panto that embraces tradition but never feels dated
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Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

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