The Fairy Godmother has sprinkled her magical fairy dust over Wimbledon. Cinderella has arrived at the New Wimbledon Theatre for the Christmas season. With magic tricks galore and three celebrity leading ladies, does this year’s panto fit the audiences dreams?
Join Cinderella as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her wicked sisters and meets her dashing Prince Charming. Starring Samantha Womack (EastEnders) as The Wicked Stepmother, Lesley Garrett as The Fairy Godmother, Melody Thornton (Pussycat Dolls) as Cinderella and returning to Wimbledon Pete Firman as Buttons.
Above anything else in Cinderella, the producers have certainly gone all out this year. You can always rely on Qdos to give high production values but Wimbledon’s show has all the bells and whistles – lavish costumes, huge fireworks, a talking bear and a flying carriage, to name but a few! There’s plenty to wow the little ones and the adults alike.
But a pantomime is nothing without people to bring it to life, and this cast certainly does that. At the heart of the show is comic lead Pete Firman – a natural on stage and brilliant at interacting with audience members of all ages. His tricks fool everyone too, balancing magic and humour to perfection.
It’s great to see three talented leading ladies at the top of the bill this year. Samantha Womack is fantastically cutting as Demonica, delivering her jokes with wicked wit and showing off her voice in her songs. Lesley Garrett keeps the opera lovers happy with several tunes showcasing her talents, with a smattering of themed gags thrown in too. Melody Thornton gives us a particularly sweet Cinderella and Leon Craig and Bobby Delaney certainly give her a rough time as ugly sisters Verruca and Hernia! Special mention must go to Will Jennings as Dandini and Edward Chitticks as Prince Charming. Although they don’t have the most stage time, their appearances are incredibly funny down to their superb acting.
The script for Cinderella could be tweaked in places, but there’s some cracking more original jokes in there (or at least ones I’ve not heard before!) One of the standout things about the production is the brilliant choreography from Lizzi Gee. The costumes are also a step up from many pantomimes in the past, with particular attention given to the babes and ensemble who have outfits just as grand and intricate as the leads. There’s a nice mix of songs too, with some classics like Elton John’s I’m Still Standing and modern hits like Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You.
If you’re looking for a classic pantomime with a few star names and great value for money, Cinderella is definitely your choice this year. You shall go to the ball!
You can get your tickets for Cinderella from just £13 directly from the theatre here. Performances until Sunday 5 January 2020.
Photo credit: Craig Sugden
I was gifted these tickets but the views in this view remain honest, unbiased and entirely my own!