REVIEW: Palace Theatre wows again with Cinderella

Full of feel-good songs and belly laughs, Cinderella returns to the stage with incredible costumes and a talented cast.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 11:31 am

Fresh from the set of Gavin & Stacey, Melanie Walters stars as the Fairy Godmother with her quick wit and sparkling costumes.

The ever-popular Adam Moss returns to the Palace Theatre for his third year, this time in the role of the lovable Buttons.

The audience were clearly rooting for him in the quest for Cinders’ affections.

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It is easy to see why Adam is such a firm favourite with panto fans, with incredible comedy timing that stole the show once again.

Fans of television show Milkshake will recognise presenter Olivia Birchenough as Cinderella – the award-winning panto star who brought so much life and energy to the role.

Her impressive vocal range covers a whole array of songs and the audience warmed to her immediately.

Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph star as the Ugly Sisters.

They play the perfect panto villains – with increasingly flamboyant outfit changes, I found myself itching to see what their next scene would bring, and the audience were not disappointed!

From Marge Simpson-esque hair, to sky-high heels and sequins galore, they are the characters you love to hate as soon as they sashay onto the stage.

Chris Warner Drake plays the dashing Prince Charming – his chemistry with Dandini shines through and leads to some heart-warming scenes throughout the show.

Mansfield Palace Theatre presents Cinderella, pictured are Melanie Walters as the Fairy Godmother, Olivia Birchenough as Cinderella and Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph as the Ugly Sisters

The story follows the original plot, with the addition of popular songs which had the audience singing their hearts out – the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune was a particular favourite of mine.

One of my stand-out scenes has to be between Buttons and the Ugly Sisters – Buttons acting as the go-between for Lily and Daisy as they each argued over their possessions; pink powder puffs, parisienne plimsolls and powder peach pashminas to name but a few!

A special mention has to be made to the incredible young performers who featured throughout, with fantastic choreography and costumes.

I occasionally found my attention focused on them rather than the central characters.

Mansfield Palace Theatre presents Cinderella, pictured are Adam Moss as Buttons, and Olivia Birchenough as Cinderella

There was also a collective “ahh” from the audience when the wonderful Shetland ponies came on stage to pull Cinderella’s carriage, a lovely surprise addition to the cast.

The jokes were local, sometimes political, but not too close to the bone as is sometimes the case in pantomime - there was the occasional “Did they just go there?” from the audience but plenty of Dad-jokes to keep it light-hearted and fun.

A special tribute was paid to Andrew Tucker who, after 25 years at the helm, is retiring this year.

His first ever show as theatre manager was Cinderella, so it was only fitting his final run revisited the classic.

Buttons presented him with his P45 on stage, much to the audience’s amusement.

With a perfect mixture of jokes for adults and children, it was a real feel-good performance that had us smiling throughout.

Cinderella is running until January 5 and tickets can be purchased from the box office or over the phone on 01623 633133.