site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Anvil - Cinderella

10th December 2009 to 3rd January 2010.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

It's hiss and boo time

Chav-ulous ugly sisters whip up some good old-fashioned audience participation

Cinderella, at The Anvil, Basingstoke, until Sunday, January 3

Cinderella is perhaps one of the best-loved and well-known pantos. It is a magical story of rags to riches. Anvil Arts have once again joined forces with UK Productions to produce this year's Anvil pantomime and it's great family entertainment, with something for everyone, although some of the jokes are perhaps a touch risqué.

Anna Williamson as Cinderella gave a confident, exuberant performance, despite having an injured ankle, and Jamie Rickers was the buoyant Buttons, although suffering from a throat infection, but in true showbiz tradition the show went on. And didn't they do well?... Oh yes they did.

There was a lovely rapport between them from their years working together in ITV and CITV's Toonattik.

The plot followed the traditional story. Baron Hardup (David Oakley) had remarried and Cinders now had two stepsisters who forced her to work hard both day and night. Byron Mondahl (Lily) and David Ball (Daisy) were splendid as the spiteful 'chav' ugly sisters who made Cinders' life a total misery Their costumes were outlandish and they quickly worked up the audience to demonstrate their disapproval with their 'boos and jeers'. There were bags of good old-fashioned audience participation throughout.

However, help is on hand when Cinders meets her Fairy Godmother, the singing star Sonia, who has been promoted from being on 'the top of the tree' - lots of reasons for singalong songs.

Sam Cassidy was the handsome Prince Charming who swapped places with his servant Dandini (Gavin Lee Rees) in order to search for his love, Cinders. The transformation scene when the Fairy Godmother turned the pumpkin into a coach was a delightful moment that included two real Shetland ponies.

The excellent chorus of villagers and courtiers were from the Basingstoke Academy of Dance and Kelly Hopkins Theatre Arts, slickly choreographed by Graeme Henderson.

Beautifully-costumed and with lovely sets, director Ian Good's Cinderella was great fun and thoroughly enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience.