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REVIEW: Cinderella at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Newcastle Theatre Royal

Until Saturday 15 January 2022.

Danny Adams and Clive Webb bring their magical show to the Theatre Royal for the 17th year. Michael Harrison has produced a show that is lavish. From the moment that you arrive in the auditorium you know that this is one very plush extravaganza.

The comedy duo are joined by long time collaborator Chris Hayward who wears some of the most extravagant outfits in North East panto. The rest of the outfits, designed by Mike Coltman and Teresa Nalton match the glamour of the show. Even Ben Cracknell's lighting design matches the opulence of a West End show.

The core cast have been joined once again by Mick Potts as Dandini and South Shields own X Factor winner Joe McElderry as the Faerie Godfather. Here you start to see changes to other productions of this tale. A Godfather rather than a Godmother worked well, as did Joe's ability to sing on a number of occasions.

Another change is to not use men in drag to act as the ugly sisters. Kylie Ann Ford and Christina Berriman Dawson excelled as the nasty Vindicta and Manipulata respectively. Their on-stage mother is Chris Hayward's Volupta who seems to enjoy being the baddie as much as he enjoys being the good Dame. So no "Hello Hinnies" tonight.

Combining the glamour with a great singing voice was Oonagh Cox as Cinderella. She had a flawless performance. It was a shame that we did not see more of her as, for a show called Cinderella, you end up seeing a lot more of Danny and Clive often doing things that have no relevance to the exposition of the story.

Opposite Oonagh is Wayne Smith as Prince Charming who was charming as he sought his perfect partner. Occasionally acting as his bodyguards are the very talented dance act Flawless who performed some short yet entertaining dance routines. I'll be honest in saying that I had expected to see slightly more of them.

Now if you have been to the Theatre Royal panto over the last 17 years then you know what to expect: lots of Danny and Clive, some near the knuckle (and occasionally inappropriate jokes) and some magic tricks. This occurs regardless of whether any of this advances the story at all. This combination went down well with many in the audience. There is a lot to be said for panto that keeps a returning core of performers - they establish and retain a rapport with the audience. The downside is that some elements of the show are under utilised.

Having said that - tickets are already selling well for 2023's panto (Pinocchio) as the fans of the format want the best seats for the most popular nights. Tyneside's favourite pantomime delivers a flamboyant show every year that is, for many people, the definition of panto.

Review: Stephen Oliver


Cinderella plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 29 November 2022 – Sunday 15 January 2023. Tickets are priced from £12.50 and can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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