I’ve been to the pantomime in Weston’s Playhouse several times in the last few years; it’s always been a great event and this year is no exception. In fact, I’d generally choose this over bigger venues such as the Bristol Hippodrome. The outfits and sets might not be as fancy and expensive as in a bigger production but there is no lack of imagination, glitz and wonder. There is a special intimacy in a venue this size which makes it a magical experience, especially at the end when children fill the aisles dancing and ‘oohing’ at the lights and effects.
This year we’ve got Cinderella, with Linda Lusardi as the Fairy Godmother, along with Sam Kane, Amy Thompson, Joe Rowntree and Stewart Briggs in the main roles and ably supported by a team of dancers, both professional adults and local children. As you’d expect there are endless sparkles, special effects, lots of well-known songs and many opportunities to shout out. There is something for everyone – even the 13 year old boy enjoyed it, particularly the slightly rude jokes which went way above the 7 year old girls’ heads. Not that they noticed as they were far too engrossed in the action and the story unfolding on stage.
The highlights included some spectacular falls, some unexpected and very cute special guests, and of course the Ugly Sisters fashion sense. There are lots and lots of laughs in this production, and also some lovely singing and dancing with all of the cast being thoroughly professional, engaging and doing a great job on stage.
I’ll leave it to the 7 year olds to give their verdict. ‘It was GREAT’. ‘They sang some really real songs’. ‘Buttons is my favourite’ ‘And mine’ ‘I love Buttons’. ‘Awwww, so CUTE!’. And even without their words, their faces as they leant forwards in their seats transfixed by the magic of pantomime told it all.
Cinderella plays at The Playhouse, Weston until 31st December