Three dames are better than one

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WAS it a great show? Oh yes it was! writes Dan Bailey.

This one had it all. Big belly laughs, some super singing and a variety of dazzling dancing sets.

Cinderella was the 28th Nottingham Playhouse pantomime by director Kenneth Alan Taylor and this year’s was possibly one of the Playhouse’s sparkliest ever, with a fresh take on the timeless fairytale featuring not one, not two – but three of the most horrible dames in the land.

Mix in the usual outrageous costumes and lashings of glitter, along with the more up-to-date I’m a Celebrity jokes and Downtown Abbey references, Taylor ensured the audience was treated to yet another stage masterpiece.

There was a slight tweak in format this year, with the play presented in just two acts instead of three, with only one interval, probably a welcome relief for parents of excitable young children towards bedtime.

In another change, Baron Hardup was replaced by the hilarious ‘third dame’ Dowager Duchess Devilla, played superbly by the returning Jeffrey Longmore.

We all know the story. Doomed to drudgery by her vicious stepsister, Cinderella (Danielle Corlass) only dreams of escape and romance.

Then enter, with a a bang louder than that you’d hear on bonfire night, the beautiful Fairy Godmother (Nicole Webb) with a pumpkin and a sprinkle of magic to whisk Cinders away to the ballroom.

But with her ugly step-sisters (John Elkington and Anthony Hoggard) digging their six-inch heels in, it’s not an easy ride to the land of happy ever after.

Bella and Donna truly stole the show, although Adam Barlow deserves a special mention for his ‘very cheesy’, but brilliant performance as Buttons.

The dancers should also be commended for their great costumes and superb routines, while designer Tim Meacock must be congratulated on helping to enhance the magic with some very special sets.

What a perfect start to the festive period, ensuring the whole family will have an absolute ball this Christmas.

Despite the changes, the essence of this rags to riches tale still applies – dreams really can come true!

l Cinderella will run at the Playhouse until 14th January. Tickets are priced from £16.50 from the box office on 0115 9419419.