Panto Review: Cinderella at the London Palladium ✭✭✭✭
14th December 2016: After a break of nearly 30 years, Pantomime has returned to the Palladium stage with a festive feast for all the family.
The last time Cinderella was on stage here was in 1985, and the final panto was Babes in the Wood back in 1987... so it is about time we got the razzmatazz back into the West End.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and his puppet Sam make a very likeable Buttons and sidekick. Zerdin has good comic timing and the audience warmed to him instantly. Some funny routines which include audience members are second to none, and his interaction with the kids in the audience at the end is hilarious.
Suzie Chard and Wendy Somerville play delightfully vile Ugly Sisters Verruca and Hernia, getting many a boo from the crowd, and the ensemble of dancers are fabulous throughout too.
Amanda Holden is the Fairy Godmother, swishing her wand and singing away in her usual imitable style, whilst flying around the stage.
For me though, Julian Clary as Dandini is a show stopper. The way he delivers his lines and ad-libs are pure genius. The double entendre one-liners are edge of the seat risky at times, and we all love it. A lesson in comedy acting is being shown here, and hats off to Clary, a master.
Extravagant costumes for O'Grady and Clary designed by Hugh Durrant are a huge hit, big musical numbers such as Downtown and I Will Survive have had their lyrics re-written for the show which work well, and throw in some original numbers from Gary Hind and Alan McHugh and you are singing all night long. The set design from Ian Westbrook looks wonderful, and is beautifully lit by Ben Cracknell.
The band under direction from Greg Arrowsmith are tight and sound good, Gareth Owen has once again done a fab sound design making this show sound great.
You better go and buy a ticket before the clock strikes midnight, as this is a great show and not to be missed. Roll on next year, as hopefully this will become a yearly tradition back in the West End.
Four stars ✭✭✭✭
Images by Paul Coltas and Steve Williams
Theatre: London Palladium, Argyll St, London W1F 7TF
Dates: 10 December 2016 – 15 January 2017
Press night: 14 December 2016 at 7pm
Box Office: 0844 874 0667 (no booking fee)
Prices: from £19.50, all ticket prices include a £1.50 Theatre Restoration Levy