For a heartwarming. high-spirited entertaining night out, you can’t beat Norwich Theatre Royal’s absolutely fabulous Cinderella - a highly polished production with belly laughs and custard pies aplenty and a large sprinkling of fairy dust.
Set in Norwich-next-the-sea where Baron Hardup (played by Christopher Ryan of TV’s Absolutely Fabulous and Bottom) runs the Hardup Hotel, it features some special comedic touches, including an hilarious scene where Buttons (the quick-witted Richard Gauntlett) almost drowns in a water butt as rain drenches the stage.
Fairy Godmother Sheila Ferguson shows she’s not lost of any of her sparkle or vocal pazzazz from her Three Degrees days and she pumps out a couple of truly stunning numbers. Ruth Betteridge is the sweetest of Cinderellas with a very strong voice, while Matt Milburn is every girl’s dream of a Prince Charming and he and four fellow courtiers give a barnstorming rendition of a One Direction number.
The Ugly Sisters (Graeme Henderson and Ian Besley) were truly ghastly with some skyscaper hair-dos, while Jack Richardson, who stepped into Dandini’s shoes at only a few days’ notice, put in a flawless performance, as did the delightful panto babes. It’s an ‘ab-fab’ show and guaranteed to bring a smile after the festive excesses - don’t miss it!
Cinderella runs until January 19. JUDY FOSTER