Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Cinderella - Highcliffe Charity Players Review

One thing that I love about my local theatre scene is that the end of December never marks the end of panto season. For once January hits, the fantastic Highcliffe Charity Players put on a pantomime that will delight and entertain and brighten up those January blues. This year they took on the classic tale of Cinderella, and boy did they not disappoint!

Cinderella Highcliffe Charity Players
Based on the classic tale that we know and love (with a couple of twists and turns), we follow Cinders, a girl who's parents have passed away and she's left to deal with her ghastly stepsisters and evil stepmother as family. With the help of her trusty sidekick and best friend Buttons, Cinders meets her Fairy Godmother and is whisked to the ball where she falls in love with her Prince Charming, and the rest they say is history!

First things first, the staging was absolutely spectacular. For an amateur production, the staging rivalled that of a west end show. Similarly the costuming was spot on and I felt transported to another world whilst I was watching it. Co-written by the fantastic Charles Michael Duke (who also takes to the stage as Buttons!) the panto is packed with all the cheesy jokes, audience participation and show stopping numbers that you need in a pantomime. 


Cinderella Highcliffe Charity Players

The casting was spot on. With Charles taking the role of Buttons after some time away from the stage following a double lung transplant, he blew the audience away with his fantastic voice and Max has deemed him his hero for his hilarious jokes and audience participation!  Charlotte Starr did a brilliant job of depicting the young Cinderella along with Matt Jenkins as the Prince who complemented the title star perfectly.

Max spent the whole of the show booing the brilliant Ellie Tripp who portrayed the spectacularly wicked evil stepmother whilst he was in fits of laughter at the stepsisters Tooti and Frooti (Pete Whittaker and Mike Young) who both were spot on with their comedic portrayals of these bumbling characters. Some of my favourites were definitely the underrated Charcuterie Three (Stanley Smith, Holly Prince and Laura Lock) who were the perfect gossip trio (and reminded me of me and my friends a tad!).

With a fantastic blend of favourite songs along with classic hits, the show had people smiling from the opening bars until the final bows. We were huge fans of the Shrek the Musical nods and the young ones in the audience loved Baby Shark. Each song kept people singing in their seats and tapping their toes. Cinderella was a show that we enjoyed so much and couldn't stop talking about the whole way home. A perfect show to shake off those January blues and put a smile on your face for days to come! We absolutely loved it and can't wait for next year!

Cinderella is on at the Regent Centre in Christchurch until Saturday January 26th. Don't miss it.

Cinderella Highcliffe Charity Players

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