Apparently on the Tinder app (I’m more of a Grindr guy) , if you slide right that means you like what you see and with this years Above The Stag Panto, Tinderella, Cinders Slips it in, that is precisely what happens. You like what you see. With a very witty and amusing opening video from the theatres’ patron Miss Su Pollard as her beloved character ‘ Peggy’ from Hi de Hi she imparts the fire regs and details of the next production, the show gets underway, Writers, Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper have grasped the panto concept very clearly . Having created a script complete with rhyming ditties Andrew Beckett’s direction is tight and allows his actors to work the small stage with conviction and flair.
From the start the innuendoes, smutty dialogue , double entendres come think n’ fast with masterful delivery by a cast that are having a laugh riot.
Rebecca Travers as The Fairy. Ellen Butler as Countess Volga, Ugly sisters, Louie Westwood and Christopher James Barley as Maude Escort and Nicole Ferrari respectively , star turn from Lucas Meredith as Buttons, ( he of the very sexy legs) Grant Cartwirght as Cinders , Andrew Truluck as King Ludwig and finally a very imposing Joseph Lycett-Barnes as Prince Charming as an ensemble instinctively knew how to work the crowd , greeting any heckle with a fabulous and when called for a cutting retort. This panto is fit to bursting with gags that are very well written and crafted and also extremely topical, Messrs Bradfield and Hopper I fear are know strangers to political satire. All good pantos tailored towards an adult audience have to have adult content and Tinderella does not fail. The regular plot devices included the famous ‘sing a long’ with the ugly sisters holding up the words written on a rather stained sheet brought the house down. This is a cheesy romp and perhaps the writers had drawn on Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones to give this production an air of slapstick and farce. A superb scene is ‘the going to the ball reveal’, Cinders appears in a blue dress that is a magical send up of the current Disney Cinderela, complete with waspish waist squeezed into a corseted gown. Mr Cartwright was never more fetching .
As an original production this never runs out of steam and goes along way to maintain the tradition of panto at Above the Stag. This show is one of the best around this season.
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