Review of Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto
By Amy Brotherton
There shouldn’t be any empty seats for this show, unless it’s because people are up out of theirs dancing.
Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto is a full-on live music gig married joyfully with a quality panto production. The basic plot of the classic story of Cinderella is here wrapped up in a super sparkly musical. What impressed me the most watching this show is how multi-talented the cast are. Every member of the cast plays multiple instruments live on stage, seamlessly moving between acting and jumping back in with the band. One of the evil step-sisters even managed to get a guitar strap up and over her big tall wig and start jamming in time. Respect.
The show is packed with a range of songs from different eras, meaning there’s something for all ages. The tunes span from pop hits that your kids, and secretly you too, will know all the words too (Call me Maybe, Firework, Price Tag) to dance floor classics (It’s Raining Men, You Make me Wanna Shout) to old school crooners (Downtown, Will You Still Love me Tomorrow?).
The show opens with a bang when Fairy G (the G’s for Godmother, innit) appears and leads us into this rags-to-riches tale. Baron Hardup is in a flap with Prince Charming due in town for a royal visit and a staff of only two – his feisty daughter Cinderella (nickname: Cinders) and loveable assistant Buttons. But when the Baron’s lonely hearts ad is answered by the mysterious Rubella De Zees who brings along her two dangerous daughters Hernia and Verruca, it seems he’ll be thwarted by a trio of golddiggers. Thankfully, Fairy G is on the case to make sure Cinderella is ready for the ball. But once midnight strikes and ‘Princess Stella’ is revealed to be Cinders in rags, will the prince still love her? OH YES HE WILL.
What did the kids think?
This was the longest show they’ve been to so far (2.5 hours including a 20-minute intermission) but they were totally into it the whole time. My 6-year-old usually has a bit of a poker face in theatre, but then afterwards he releases a tidal wave of enthusiasm. During the second half he couldn’t help having a chair-boogie, clapping along and joining in singing. My 4-year-old is not so hard to read. She was up on her feet (there was no one sat behind us) for two hours, dancing and occasionally stomping a foot “because it’s a rock and roll song mum”. They liked all the silly keyboard sound effects, fart noises and people getting knocked over and tossed down a well. They both said their favourite character was Buttons.
What did the adults think?
The morning after we saw this panto my husband said to me, and I quote: “I can’t get over how good that show was yesterday.” Parents – we will take a gig wherever we can find it. There are lots of quick-fire jokes, some definitely on the naughtier side but I doubt any kids would notice. We both laughed quite a bit throughout the show (with a few necessary groans as well, par for the course in a panto).
What’s the theatre and seating like?
The Pentland Theatre at arts depot feels grand but all the seats hug close enough to the stage that no one feels left out of the party. There are two levels – the Stalls and then a Circle level, which is where we sat. The Circle here only has a few rows and they are stepped so no matter how tall the person is in front of you they won’t block your view. We sat in the centre of the second row of Circle and the views were great. The only thing to consider is characters from the show run around a bit in the Stalls, so if you want to be in on that action sit down there. My husband was relieved he was out of range to be kissed on the head by one of the step sisters!
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this show. Over two hours of impressive live music, singing and panto comedy drama. We all left buzzing. Go see it!
Cinderalla – The Rockin’ Panto
When: until 5 January 2020
Where: artsdepot 5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner North Finchley London N12 0GA
Cost: Tickets from £18
Age guidance: Theatre says 5+ but my 4 year old loved it!
More info: website
Presented by artsdepot in association with The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
All photos by Aenne Pallasca
Tickets gifted for review purposes.
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