Filled with humour, romance and a lot of famous faces, the Royal Theatre Nottingham’s production of Cinderella is a brilliant night out for all ages. Culture editor Jo Donnelly and Head of Photography Carolyn Brown took to Nottingham to experience the show and feel the festive mood.
The timeless tale of Cinderella was brought to the stage with stunning costumes, brilliant singing and some incredible comedy. Prince Charming, played by John Partridge, of EastEnders fame, wowed the audience with his great voice and ‘charming’ personality, but the Grumbleweeds definitely stole the show as the Brokers Men. From surreal moments such as taking to the stage dressed as Teletubbies, to the classic chasing of the bad guy, these two comedians provided a wealth of laughter for the adults in the audience, whilst keeping the younger members captivated. Add to that some surprising nudity and the best male drag impersonation of Cher I have ever seen from Colvill, and by the end we were both in hysterics.
Aimie Atkinson proved to be a beautiful Cinderella with such an incredible singing voice that I immediately forgot that her brunette lock were not altogether traditional. Add to that Adam C. Booth as the loveable Buttons, and the audience were set for a lot of brilliant moments of romance and friendship, not to mention one amusing moment of sexual tension between Partridge and Booth. Another incredibly famous face was present in former Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson as the Fairy Godmother, who brought class and grace, and just a little bit of a magic to the production.
The award for best costumes definitely went to the Ugly Sisters, named Nicole and Tulisa, and played by Martin Ramsdin and David Robbins: Every time they took to the stage they donned new and incredible outfits, even being lowered down in a stunning take on candles. The two men, who can move in heels better than most women I know, treated the audience to another surreal moment during their rendition of Gangnam style, keeping us laughing throughout.
Audience participation was, of course, very present, and it’s impossible to get tired of shouting out at the actors along with the entire audience. Particular mention goes to the father sitting behind me, who on hearing the question ‘Should I marry him?’ from Cinders, yelled back rather loudly, ‘NO!’ And, as with the rest of the production, there was a humorous spin on traditional participation just before the interval, where the first few rows of the audience were covered in a layer of foam ‘snow’. Though I am not so sure how well it went down with them, it was amusing for the rest of us. A less than planned moment of audience participation was where, during their unusual rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas, Colvill threw five toilet rolls at an audience member, and then had to ask for them to be thrown back so the scene could continue.
Indeed, in any production, there can always be things that go wrong, and Cinderella was no exception. However, the actors handled these moments with utter grace, even turning them to their comedic advantage. The entire cast was incredibly professional, even down the very young members. Even on the first night, it had the feel of a brilliant panto, that would be highly successful this Christmas.
If you are around Nottingham this Christmas season, I would definitely recommend going to see Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Nottingham. It will keep you laughing for the entire show, and definitely adds to the festive spirit. A great start to my Christmas, this production has shown me that the panto is definitely not just for children.
Cinderella runs through to January 13th, and for more details, visit their website right here!