Touchwood, Devonport Playhouse, 21st -24th November 2012
We all know the story of Cinderella and have seen it told in many ways. However Touchwood put their own quirks into the performance and created a fantastic evening out for everyone. They brought the show up to date, created fantastic staging and even composed some of their own songs. They also included a few extra jokes slipped in by Buttons (Sam Pomeroy), Dandini (Ryan Southern) and the Ugly Sisters (Simon Gardiner and Hugh Price).
It had the usual pantomime ingredients with the romantic hero and heroine, the energetic villagers, the Dames, the village idiot, and plenty of audience participation. I particularly enjoyed the actors being in the aisles but watch out for the Ugly Sisters!
Cinderella (Natalie Ratcliff) and Prince Charming (Matt Keast) sang some modern duets such as Come What May which were accompanied by the dancers who explored many varieties of dance throughout the performance. This particular dance was a graceful and well choreographed ballet dance.
The Fairy Godmother (Lianne Sturmer) spoke all of her lines in rhyme and bought plenty of enthusiasm to the role. This contrasted perfectly with the Evil Step-Mother (Janet Robson) who had clearly been practising her wicked cackle and kept her husband (David Bailey) in order.
A small improvement could have been made by characters waiting to say their lines because there was a very lively audience who were up for a good giggle meaning some of the lines weren’t heard.
The orchestra played to a professional standard throughout the performance and played a range of music from Ghostbusters to It’s Raining Men.
Touchwood has created a fresh and professional production of Cinderella which is well worth a watch.