The X Factor discovery and West End star Rhydian Roberts has a fine singing voice. It’s just a shame that he’s so woefully miscast in the role of Prince Charming in Chesterfield. There’s very little chemistry between Roberts and his Cinders (Naomi Wilkinson). Their body language is uneasy and their scenes contain a presumably unintended echo of the uncomfortable marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Di.
Other elements of Ian Billings’ production are far more successful. Not only do we see Cinderella set off to the ball in the traditional manner, we are invited ride along with her courtesy of an impressive 3D sequence in which audience members encounter dragons and assorted nasties on the way to the Prince’s castle.
The 3D glasses return for an amusing ghost scene. These provide fun interludes but, happily, this largely enjoyable show relies more on the charisma of its performers than on gimmicks.
Josh Benson injects some comedy into proceedings – he must be one of the hardest working Buttons in panto. He’s particularly entertaining in a knockabout Twelve Days of Christmas routine. John Danbury and Ben Millerman are suitably outrageous and villainous as the Hardup sisters. Impressive costumes and delicious sets give the show a certain elegance.