Saturday, 30 December 2017

30/12/17: Cinderella, Greenwich Theatre

The annual Greenwich treat. I was dismayed to discover that this year the pantomime would not star Andrew Pollard, who has been the actor/director/dame of the show for at least a decade. On the plus side, he did write it and even appears in a “virtual” filmed cameo as Halley’s Comet. 

The songs are always a highlight, despite "Uncle" Steve's three-piece band in the orchestra pit drowning out the vocals at times. We were treated to the Friends theme (“I’ll Be There for You”), “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls, “ABC” by the Jackson 5, “Somebody to Love” by Queen, “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, “A Night to Remember” by Shalamar and “Roar” by Katy Perry. The singalong involved “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets – chosen to tie in with the overarching subject of “comets”.

Stealing the show were the two ugly sisters. Kylie was played by the usual villain actor Anthony Spargo. He was as hilarious and commanding as ever, exuding OTT evil charisma. Mylie – smudged lipstick all over her face – was played by Lizzy Dive, with perfect comic timing.

There’s usually one scene of high surrealism, but this time there were two – one set in a bathtub (with nods to Titanic and Jaws) and one set on an airbed filled with dangerously explosive gas…

As usual, there were local jokes (most of the show was set in Greenwich Observatory), topical references (Brexit was an inevitable mention) and off-piste moments in which the cast try to make each other laugh by deviating from the script. It was so entertaining that I almost didn’t miss Andrew Pollard.

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