site search by freefind advanced

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

Silchester Players - Cinderella

27th to 28th January and 3rd to 4th February 2017

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Panto alive and well in Sinchester, oh yes it is

Silchester Players: Cinderella, at Silchester Village Hall on Friday, January 27, Saturday, January 28, Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4

It's great to find the panto tradition alive and well in our local villages, and Silchester Players do it with more style and attention to detail than most.

There was a definite air of anticipation in the village hall last week as the curtain went up on Ben Crocker's version of Cinderella.

As soon as the Fairy Godmother (Mandy Larby) glided on to the stage with her charming demeanour and corny rhymes, we knew that all would turn out right in the end. Then it was up to the Chorus of Villagers to bring the production to life, with enthusiasm and smiles and some neat choreography from Trevor Dobson and Sarah Oliver.

Joe Williams as Buttons quickly got the audience on his side in his hapless quest to win Cinderella's heart, coping confidently with some challenging tongue-twisters (such as the Primrose Path) and providing slick continuity between scenes,

Claire Humphreys provided a very polished performance as Dandini, who changes places with his boss Prince Charming (a confidently regal Scarlett Quittenton) to help the young royal get closer to his subjects, causing considerable confusion for ugly sisters Cheryl and Beryl (Roy Glancey and Stephen Bibby). This was a superb evil-but-nice partnership with some inspired moments of comedy The pre-ball makeup scene with the automatic bust enhancer was particularly memorable. The sisters' mother, played with Cruella de Vil-style relish by Jill Gillett, contrasted nicely with the down-trodden Baron (Kevin Belcher) and the sweet-but-feisty Cinderella (Toni Cottrell).

The cast was completed by broker's men Snitch and Snatch (Sarah Oliver and Zoe Cole), with a less than perfect sense of direction, and Dumpling, a horse with a mind of his own (Charley Henkey and Charlotte Oliver).

Kevin Belcher's set design was a credit to the production, and a range of special effects, from the nicely-lit carriage to the UV-enhanced junior chorus numbers, added further sparkle to the magic of the evening.

Clive Solomon and Keith Graham's production continues next weekend, so if you're looking for an enjoyable evening of traditional panto, why not pick up some tickets?