Review BH Cinderella panto 2022
Fabulous fiesta of festive fun, with an abundant sprinkling of magic, says Nailsea People fan Trudi Bird
If you’re struggling to find your Christmas spirit, then I’d suggest you stop what you’re doing and book tickets for Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome right now!
A pantomime is always fun for the whole family, and this year’s is guaranteed to leave you feeling festive throughout the whole Christmas holiday.
As one of the most loved fairy tales, the story of Cinderella is always going to be popular with its audiences. Playing Cinderella was Lauren Hampton, who is no stranger to the Hippodrome having performed in two others shows there. Her beautiful singing voice, coupled with that of the talented Oliver Savile as Prince Charming, made for a perfect match.
There are, of course, two horrid stepsisters. Claudia, (Leanne Jones) and Tess (Catherine Morris), were so awfully good, it was hard to not like them! So much so in fact, that there were just as many cheers as the customary boos. They also featured in some of the funniest scenes and one particularly complicated musical number, which is destined for disaster!
Then there is the wicked stepmother, Baroness Demonica Hardup, played by the FAB-U-LOUS Craig Revel Horwood. Having appeared as a judge in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing since it started, his controversial comments to celebrity contestants made him the ideal panto villain. Add that to his background in musical theatre, where his career began back in Australia, and his extensive experience, both on stage and behind the scenes choreographing, and I don’t think there was much doubt he would be impressive.
What I wasn’t expecting and was taken aback by, was his singing voice. Fans of ITVs The Masked Singer will have already caught a glimpse of that after he recently appeared in the show, reaching the semi-finals as ‘Knickerbocker Glory’. This was only made better by singing legendary songs from the likes of Queen and Gloria Gaynor. He looked so great as the Baroness, it was hard to believe under all that glitz and glamour, was a man!
Cinderella is looking for love and finds it by chance in the woods. It is here she meets the prince; however, he has swapped places with his loyal servant Dandini and so she does not know who he really is. Before he gets a chance to tell her, she flees, and so the search begins to find her again.
Dandini, played by Daniel Norford and who also had a fantastic voice, is only too happy to trade places and help the prince get the girl. Cue a ball at the palace and some magical help from the Fairy Godmother (Alison Jear), an extraordinary vocalist, and it is not too long before the pair get their happy ending.
f only the drama could be resolved so quickly in the soaps, hey?
For me, it’s always the unscripted bits and mishaps that I look forward to; the one time of the year it’s not only acceptable but welcomed!
That brings me onto the absolute star of the show – and that is Buttons, aka Hippodrome legend Andy Ford.
Now in his 10th year of panto, he made sure that everyone left with a smile on their face. He even reduced Craig Revel Horwood to laughter with a little adlibbing!
I thought it would be hard to beat last year’s pantomime, but indeed it did. I won’t spoil it by telling you too much more, but one particularly sketch featuring countries from around the world, had me in stitches. I honestly haven’t laughed that much for a long time. How Andy remembered it all, I don’t know!
Add into that a real ‘wow’ moment featuring Cinderella’s coach and horses, a Strictly medley, Brizzle jokes galore and the best dancing glittery pumpkins I’ve ever seen, and it’s a Christmas present all wrapped up into one.
If I had to sum it up in one line, I’d say a ‘fabulous fiesta of festive fun, with an abundant sprinkling of magic’.
Cinderella is on at the Hippodrome from now until New Year’s Eve and with two shows every day, there is still plenty of time to get yourself a ticket.
Book now at https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/cinderella/bristol-hippodrome.