We love Panto in our house and last week I got to see not one, but two local Pantomimes.
The first one was Cinderella at the Pavilion and I took Sebastian to see it with our local pre-school.
Melanie Walters (Gwen from Gavin and Stacey) opened the show as the magical Fairy Godmother and set the scene for show before we were introduced to the rest of the cast.
Dani Harmer (Tracey Beaker) played Cinderella, whilst X-Factor’s Rhydian was a very regal as Prince Charming, but personally it was Noel Brodie and Gary Jordan that stole the show for me as the lovable Buttons and handsome Dandini.
Cinderella wouldn’t be Cinderella without the Ugly Sisters who were played brilliantly by David Ball and Michael Chance. How they managed so many costume changes I will never know and the stocking scene was hilarious, but they were sadly missing a wicked step-mother to “Boo” at.
The show was full of songs with some of this year’s biggest hits, a couple of retro tunes for good measure, which included a brilliantly clever Queen cover – the highlight of the show for me, and a couple of songs that were unknown which sadly didn’t work with the story, although they showcased Rhydian’s magnificent voice.
However, the main problem I had with the show that the cast didn’t really gel and the show dragged. The first half was too long and drawn out, lasting 105 minutes and Sebby wanted to go home in the interval, although the promise of an ice cream persuaded him to stay.
Thankfully the second half picked up pace again and had the audience joining in with silly songs, the ghosty and ghoulie song (always a favourite) and of course the Royal wedding at the end.
It is not the worst pantomime I have seen, but I came away feeling disappointed.
For me it is Aladdin at Lighthouse Poole who has won the battle of the local pantomimes.