REVIEW: Cinderella Rock n Roll Panto @ Playhouse 06/12/11

With building works well underway at the Everyman, this year’s festive Rock n Roll offering has moved to the Playhouse theatre. Cinderella: Mop! In the Name of Love features a familiar cast and production team so would the show continue to get the audience rocking…. We sent our fairy princess Laura Mallaber along to find out

Panto is as much a part of a traditional British Christmas as the turkey, stuffing and a ‘Only Fools and Horses’ special on tv.  For another year writers/fairy godmothers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton waved their magic wands and brought Christmas spirit to the Liverpool Playhouse theatre with the ‘rock and roll’ pantomime Cinderella.

With the Everyman theatre undergoing a makeover the team have packed up their sequinned gowns and water pistols and headed down the road to the Playhouse.  So, the question is did this new location create any problems for the production, the answer surely is no…  it’s fair to say that the layout of the Playhouse with its tiered seating cannot provide the same level of intimacy with the audience and the show perhaps was lacking in the familiar ‘cast on lap’ moments.

This aside the cast certainly drew the audience into the all singing, all dancing show with several sections of audience participation and the visible in- house band playing a string of contemporary popular songs, all well known by the audience who seemed to have no problem from singing and swaying along with the onstage cast. From Adele’s ’Make you feel my love’, Coldplay’s anthem ‘Fix You’ to crowd favourite the upbeat Amy Winehouse version of ‘Valerie’ by The Zutons, the songs carried the familiar fairytale from one stage to the next with an added feet-tapping modern touch. 

Favourite regular funny men ’Adam Kaust’ and ’Francis Tucker’ led the cast as Cinderella’s ugly sisters ’Titiana’ and ’Willhemia’, they warn the audience “don’t shorten our names“- you work it out! The duo were the crowd pleasers of the night, stealing each scene with their outrageously garish outfits including a sheep ‘Lady Baa Baa‘ ensemble, two handed banter and secret handshakes delivered with undeniable chemistry clearly developed through the years of working together.

Overall it has to be noted that there wasn’t a weak link within this show and the cast all seemed to effortlessly gel together and most importantly throughout the performance they ensured that the final member of the cast: the audience were included throughout, with side jokes and glances made to the audience we didn’t miss one second of their fun and became part of their ‘community‘ for the night.  

Cinderella: Mop! In the Name of Love is universal in its appeal, multi-layered gags are offered for both yourselves, your children and even your grandparents! A huge round of applause to everyone involved for providing a perfect winter night out for all the family, make sure you dust off your party outfit and get down to the Playhouse this Christmas.  

The show runs until 21 January 2012 and tickets are still available, get down to the Playhouse with all the family and have some fun this Christmastime!

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WORDS: Laura Mallaber
IMAGES: Robert Day

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