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KATS - Cinderella 2 - After the Ball

18th to 20th February 2010.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Cracking end to season

Kennet Amateur Theatre Society: Cinderella 2 - After the Ball, at Kennet School, Thatcham, from Thursday, February 18 to Saturday, February 20

In a belated, but splendid end to the panto season, KATS presented Cinderella 2 last week. Developed from an original script by Rita and Dave Pocock, it had all the panto elements, plus a whole lot more quirky twists, special effects, voiceovers and pyrotechnics - all adding up to a wonderful night's entertainment for children and adults.

Director Karen Richardson had a large and talented cast to work with and the script gave opportunity to use them well. There were many excellent and colourful characters, far too many to commend each one, but congratulations to them all on the strength of their delivery.

The main players carried the plot well - to search for the two evil witches bringing gloom to the kingdom, with a host of adventures on the way. Claire Bowden as Prince Charming brought a delightful quality to the role, thigh slapping and heroic, yet with a strong sense of comedy. Jon Lovell as Rumble the ever hungry village idiot, was terrific in his delivery and comic antics. Mike Cole as the hen-pecked Duke of Hazzard amusingly completed the daring trio of adventurers, (although special mention must go to Flash the Wonder Horse; the Benny Hill style video chase was excellently done.)

Back home in Court, Ellie Turton as Cinderella waited anxiously. This was a nice portrayal with good vocals and Pippy Wiseman as Red Riding Hood turned in a charming and tuneful performance also. In a twist to the 'Dame' element, the witches were hilariously played by David Richardson (Edna) and Andy Pocock (Ella). Great stuff.

Choreographers Claire Bowden and Jon Lovell created some clever and brilliantly executed routines for the whole cast and for the young troupe of dancers. Music was well chosen and up to date, although I am not a fan of the use of backing tracks. I especially liked the ingenious rewriting of the Shrek The Musical: This Is My Story for the finale.

There were some clever effects; the invisible actors in the witches' lair and the moving objects, opening doors - all by unseen hands - amazing. Attractive costumes and good lighting all contributed to the overall high production values that ensured KATS delivered another first class pantomime - and not so easy, with an original script.