Have a ball at Hippodrome
Cinderella, the seasonal pantomime at the Bristol Hippodrome, is a sparkling spectacular of glitter, gaudy colour and gobstopping guffs starring comedian Brian Conley and fashion guru Gok Wan.
The whole auditorium is lit up like a flashy Christmas tree adding to a great festive atmosphere.
I went on Tuesday night with three excited (and twinkling) grandchildren in tow.
The seven-year-old watched in amazement, her eyes firmly fixed on the stage and eyes and mouth wide-open she displayed the biggest smile I had seen - that is when she wasn’t convulsing with laugher.
The 10-year-old said: “The coolest show ever, it’s amazing.”
But a word of warning, this isn’t sophisticated theatre, it’s played for belly (or bottom) laughs and is full of bathroom humour giving a whole new meaning to 'it's behind you'.
The 14-year-old was slightly more reserved in her critique although many a gasp and guffaw escaped her lips.
The teenager said: “When you are younger you don’t realise how many adult jokes there are – some were a bit cringy.
“The show was quite casual – they went off script a bit which was really funny, but I think it was very good.”
The set, lighting, dancing, singing and costumes are fantastic, and although the naughty ad-libs are not to everyones taste the majority of theatre-goers were chuckling loudly.
Gok as the Gokmother wore a silver Ziggy Stardust outfit – all space cadet - and told the audience that ‘Cinder’s boyfriend looked good naked’ a reference to his hit television show.
Brian – whoops, I had mistakenly told the children that Bradley Cooper was playing Buttons (well same initials) – had that energetic ability of a seasoned comic but probably his biggest laugh came when he accidently fell off the outside dunny!
Bristol audiences have overdosed on Cinderella productions in the past few years including Matthew Bourne’s marvellous ballet andthe junior My First Cinderella narrated matinees.
Then there was Cinderella with iconic skaters Torvill and Dean and the hilarious camp version with Pineapple Dance Studio personality Louie Spence.
The pressure was on for 2018.
The ugly sisters (Ben Stock and Neal Wright) wore outrageous coordinated outfits and synchronized their Bristle speak – they were hideously amusing
Among the best bits is the slapstick sequence in the woodland which Cinders (birthday girl Lauren Hall), Prince Charming (Scott Mobley) and Buttons who all made falling off a log look easy, ta dah, and the pumpkin coach with ‘real’ horses’ taking to the skies.
Audience participation was top notch – the obligatory children making farmyard noises singing Old McDonald and Buttons stooge for the evening good humoured Emma, pulled onto the stage from the front row, helping with some gags and be the butt of others - 'bet you wish you hadn't worn a see-through top tonight'.
The Prince, Dandini (Matthew Malthouse) and Cinderella are a talented trio of ‘pretty people’ contrasting with the awful ‘undateable’ step sisters whose shocking candelabra costumes for the finale could have been borrowed from Liberace but according to their shopping bags came from Primark!
Loved the audience react to the Bristol City versus Bristol Rovers handbags with up the reds/blues chants.
During a fake X-Factor sequence ‘Natalie of Nailsea’ won a golden ticket for the ball but neither this nor the lucky programme prize for a huge TV was claimed!!
There were some lovely impromptu moments when Cinders is forced to rip up her royal palace ball invitation and some wag in the stalls shouts, ‘get some Sellotape’ and fake laughing gas is used to make Buttons sound like Joe Pasquale who starred in Aladdin last year.
I’ll end with a tip from the Gokmother on how to look good naked – turn the lights off, boom boom.
And from Buttons saying goodbye to Princess Cinderella: “I suppose the next time I’ll see you it will be on a stamp and I won’t know whether to kiss you or lick the back of your head.”
Cinderella is at the Bristol Hippodrome until Sunday, January 6, 2019.
Booking details HERE.