YOU SHALL GO TO THE BALL! – REVIEW
You shall go to the Ball! Number 21 of the Grand Theatre’s pantomime productions, ‘Cinderella‘ was certainly a night to remember.
A lot can go wrong on the opening night of a production. However, I left feeling very joyful. If it’s not the hysterical, drag queen like, ugly sisters that win you over then the amazing Steve Royle is bound to. I reached the first year of ‘adulthood’ this year and it’s safe to say that this truly special pantomime took me right back to my formative years. Screaming “he’s behind you” in a comedy scene to the music of Ghostbusters really does make you feel 10 years old again. There were also 2 adorable Shetland ponies taking Cinders to the ball (if you weren’t delighted enough).
For his 15th consecutive pantomime at The Grand Theatre, playing the character of ‘Buttons’, Royle did not fail to exceed expectations yet again. With some improvised dialogue Royle always has something more to add, whether it be a regional one-liner about Blackpool or joking around with the children on stage. He radiates entertainment and makes sure every single member of the audience feels included. If you were lucky enough to have seen him in other pantomimes, such as ‘Aladdin’ last year, you’ll know how much nostalgia he brings to the show. A Grand Theatre panto would not be the same without him.
It’s the randomness and new, unusual, plot twists that ensure you stay hooked for the duration. Jamie Morris playing ‘Lily’ and Tarot Joseph playing ‘Daisy’ (or Taz as locals know him as) created a sisterly bond built on witty cynicism and hilarious interactions with the audience. I felt as though they were just as likeable as Olivia Birchenough’s sweet interpretation of ‘Cinderella’ despite their evil intentions. As a dedicated fan of ‘Gavin and Stacey’, I was beyond anticipated to see Melanie Walter’s presentation of the ‘Fairy Godmother’. She even made surprising references to the television series that added a familiar twist to the character. Upon her opening scene we see her being asked by the Queen Fairy to become a Fairy Godmother, we are blessed with her magical aura and motherly presence as she sets upon looking after Cinderella..
Regarding set design and costume, we were truly spoilt. The regal red outfits of the royals and the eccentric costume of the stepsisters were the standouts. Prince Charming aka Union J’s JJ Hamblett looked and acted the part. My favourite set must be the grandeur palace ballroom that worked magnificently well with the Victorian architecture and interior of The Grand Theatre, making us feel even more a part of the production itself.
Cinderella was the 21st pantomime production, which, was actually the first ever panto UK Productions and The Grand Theatre partnered together on. The dress circle bar was littered with all the large prints from the previous 21 panto productions from; Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk.
The combination of casting, design and an entertaining script made ‘Cinderella’ a production suitable for any age, with a few comedy gags just for the adults. I wouldn’t let not having kids stop you from booking tickets right now. Having grown up attending many of the pantomimes, I can say that they never fail to put a smile on your face. If this doesn’t put you in the blissful festive mood I’m not sure what will. I personally cannot wait for what The Grand Theatre has in store for us next year. I’ll give you a hint, it’s ‘A Tale As Old As Time’…
By Grand Young Reviewer: Colby Thompson
Cinderella is performing at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool until the 7th January 2018. You can get your tickets via our website here, or call our Box Office on 01253 290190 and ‘You shall go to the Ball’ too!