Bristol Hippodrome – until 6 January 2019
Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock
Cinderella is, without a doubt, the must see performance this winter! Oh yes it is!!
Brian Conley and Gok Wan are the epitome of a comic duo in this stunning performance, both taking as much time as humanly possible to engage with the audience throughout the duration of the show.
Brian, as Buttons, stole the hearts and the show last night with his quick wit, goofy smile and undying love for Cinderella that is never reciprocated in the way he would like. His comic timing is impeccable and when coupled with his outstanding improvisation, it is a winning combination. His singing voice is also given a chance to shine with renditions of ‘I’m a Believer’ and even ‘Baby Shark’ to satisfy the younger audience-he sings this whilst sat on the toilet and the children erupted with excitement! Brian was a fantastic casting choice and will leave you feeling exhausted from laughing!
Gok Wan as the ‘Fairy Gokmother’ was simply Fabulous! His entrance to the stage was twinned with an eccentric pyrotechnic and the biggest smile the audience could imagine! It felt like he was all our Gokmothers, as he engaged with the audience seamlessly and fully owned the stage. He really came alive when on stage with Conley and their spontaneity and improvisation was brilliant. His character was enhanced by the mass of silver glitter that adorned his costume and made him look utterly magical.
Mike Coleman’s costumes were shown superbly throughout the show, but Ben Stock and Neal Wright as Ugly Stepsisters Tess and Claudia had a constant string of garishly beautiful costumes that complimented their characters. Stock and Wright adorned a Bristol accent for this show that made it feel personal to the audience. They were spectacularly in time with each other, with most of their lines delivered together and they were fabulously horrible!
Lauren Hall and Scott Mobley as Cinderella and Prince Charming were a lovely compliment to the production. We didn’t see too much of these, but they both had lovely singing voices and aided the story along. Matthew Malthouse as Dandini was also a wonderful addition to the cast and provided the classic thigh slap that is loved within pantomimes.
The show would not be complete without the ensemble and every member of the ensemble were spectacular and carried out Matthew Cole’s Choreography seamlessly. The Bristol School of Dancing also provided 16 budding dancers with the opportunity to shine in this show, filling the young boys and girls with hope of making it on stage one day.
The stand out aspect of this show is the long awaited transformation scene. The vast sets are stripped down to a black backdrop and the horse and carriage fly high above the heads of the audience. This is Ian Westbrook and 3D creations at their best with set design and Kathryn Rooney’s direction is astonishing.
This is an array of innuendo, humour, magic and colourful sets that should not be missed. Oh no, it shouldn’t!!