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January 27 2019, Cinderella Trophy Reviews

At this time of year you can guarantee the town of Wellington will be buzzing as everyone makes their way to the Wellesley Theatre. They have good reason to for they know the standards of Wellington Pantomime Group. Judging by the queues outside it was evident that this society was performing to a full house on their second night.

I was unfamiliar with the script written by Nigel Holmes but what a great choice you made. Directed by Nancy Powell-Brace, this production had everything to offer and much more! This was an excellent well- rounded script containing all the ingredients that we expect from this popular pantomime. Overall, tighter script editing would have benefited as the show overran by fifteen minutes.

The casting of any production can present challenges but it was clear to me you succeeded in getting the balance spot-on.

All principals, Dance Troupe, Ensemble and Junior’s held this production together with flair and all movements indicated total confidence.

Richard Matravers’ Buttons gave us a polished performance as Linkman. You commanded our attention at all times Richard with tremendous enthusiasm and energy. You also had an excellent singing voice. A very sound performance.

What can I say about those adorable ‘golden girls’ Benidormina (Michael Cole) and Magaloophia (David Waring)? Well I wouldn’t fancy sharing a sangria on the Spanish coast with this dodgy duo for starters! You had very good audience rapport and bounced off each other impeccably. You livened up the theatre on each of your entrances and you were funny and very amusing. Well done Mike and Dave.

Alice Luke’s Cinderella played her part innocently. You had a charming characterisation Alice and good vocal projection. On occasions I felt the cue bite could have been just a tad sharper, but overall a very sound performance.

Holly Skittrell’s Prince Charming gave us a rock solid performance. You work extremely well alongside Cinderella. Not only did you have a powerful singing voice, you were also a pleasure to watch and performed with style.

What a terrific choral effort in terms of singing, movement and ballet. Everyone worked extremely hard and brought real pace to this production. This was a fine piece of theatre work and made the show what it was. In particular I enjoyed the Postman sequence. First class! Congratulations Christina and Sophie.

The stage crew certainly had their work cut out this season. It was a shame that there were delays between some scene changes but you all managed admirably in the end. What a pity we could all see the footwear of one of the black gang team as the Tardis transported us twenty four hours. In the nicest way black means black guys!

All costumes were society-made and modelled well by everyone. There was an excellent variety and a very high standard of dressmaking. The transformation dress was magical and amazing.

It was a good idea to have children on stage to assist with the cooking but felt this scene laboured a little and although always traditional to incorporate a ghost scene, on this occasion there was no real build up or punch ending which was a pity.

It was also unnecessary and inappropriate that principals had to dash up through the auditorium immediately after the finale in order to greet people as they leave. Our wands therefore became meaningless as all of the magic of pantomime was immediately lost!

Nonetheless this was an excellent production. I enjoyed every moment and had a number of laughs along the way.

Very well done to everyone in the Wellington Pantomime Group.

Nigel Ford

Moderator SFD