On a cold winters night, I just wanted to cuddle up on the sofa and enjoy a cosy night in front of the fire. But in the name of true Christmas spirit, off to Woking I went, to watch Strictly Come Dancing’s (Craig Revel Horwood) in Cinderella at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.
This production has obviously been produced to revolve around its star Craig Revel Horwood and his on-screen persona as Baroness Demonica Hardup. Alas once he had used up his quota of Strictly catchphrases and references, there was too little to hold my attention. He relies heavily on his Strictly Come Dancing judge persona and his dancing skills certainly show why he sits in judgement on the aforementioned show.
Playing the two ugly sisters are Claudia (Suzie Chard) and Tess (Wendy Somerville). These iconic baddies are played as they should be: loudly and gloriously brassy.
From TV’s Chuckle Vision, Paul Chuckle appears as Baron Hardup. His performance was both funny and endearing and portrays a touching vulnerability in the role but also shows great comedic timing and he wins the affection of the audience easily.
This year playing Buttons, Cinderella’s best friend is Phil Butler and his juggling and magical skills were put to good use during the show.
Cinderella, played by the 2018 West End Wilma award winner Sophie Isaacs is perfectly complimented by her Prince Charming, Oliver Saville, who it was announced at the end of the show had become a dad that very day.
There were a few moments of comedy brilliance and none more so than the scene in the enchanted wood in which Cinderella, Prince Charming and Buttons are sitting on a wall. Their performance transported me back to the days of joyful slapstick comedy, with a routine that brought both the house and all 3 performers down.
Without doubt the jewel of the show was the magical coach transformation and the downfall of snow closed the first act. The songs were contemporary, and local references are a genuine part of the script which makes it enjoyable.
If you want love, laughs and even an appearance from flying horses, Cinderella is the panto for you this Christmas.
Music, magic and merriment galore!
Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane
Photo: Ian Olsson
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