The New Wimbledon Theatre has had a tricky run with pantomimes in the last few years. But this year’s Cinderella sees a welcome return to form.
For a start, it features no less than three female leads above the title of the show, something that seems increasingly rare in contemporary productions.
Lesley Garrett swoops in from the flies as a Puccini-loving Fairy Godmother, while Samantha Womack is an absolute treasure as the spoiled, conniving Baroness Hardup. Ex-Pussycat Doll Melody Thornton takes the title role, maintaining sweetness and light, despite the pressure put on her by voracious siblings Verruca and Hernia played with evident glee by Leon Craig and Bobby Delaney.
Pete Firman returns to the venue for the second time. His magic and cheeky humour are tailor-made for this style of pantomime. He also, rather poignantly, provides the sentimental heart of the show with his unexpectedly sweet Teddy Says Yes number.
Among all these headline names, Edward Chitticks is everything you might want in a Prince Charming, possessing a belting tenor voice, chiselled jaw and some nifty dance moves. But it is Will Jennings as Dandini who shines in this frock-coated double act, surreptitiously stealing nearly every scene while not once shifting focus from the happy couple.