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Cinderella - REDuck Producktions, Fisher Theatre (20.12.2023)

REDuck Producktions' pantomime had everything going for it: the intimate yet still rather grand setting of the Fisher Theatre in Bungay; likeable, talented actors at the top of their game; and a large and eager audience.

All that was needed was a stellar script, and thankfully REDuck co-founder Hayley Evenett delivered the goods with a panto so full of charm, she must have robbed a jewellers.

From the moment the charismatic presence of Gillian Dean graced the stage as Fairy G, it was clear we were in good hands, as she set the scene aided by clever use of a scrim.

We were then introduced to Cinderella, played with a sweet earnestness and a twinkle in her eye by Kimberley Mason, as she opened with a Taylor Swift number and lamented her rubbish existence. She was joined on stage by best friend Buttons, played with boundless enthusiasm and energy by Ivan Wilkinson, who held the audience in the palm of his hand with ease.

Buttons confessed to us how he felt about Cinders, but before he got the chance to share his feelings with her, he was interrupted by the ugly sisters, Germoline and Vaseline. And onto the stage burst AJ Deane and Leighton Melville as the aesthetically challenged duo. They were a perfect grim pairing, and ensured a chorus of both boos and laughter throughout. Also revelling in the boos was Gillian Dean, who doubled up to play a rather glamorous wicked stepmother.

Completing the cast was the wonderful Brian Wood as Prince Charming, whose character was equal parts daft, endearing, and hilarious.

With just six actors, you might imagine quite a barren stage, but this talented team absolutely filled the space with big performances and great energy.

It's true to say that some of the musical numbers felt a little sparse with the lack of bodies, but this was compensated by big vocals, particularly from Brian Wood who blew me away with his version of Meat Loaf's I Would Do Anything For Love.

There were no twists to this tale, just a joke and pun-laden, and uncomplicated telling of a traditional fairytale. And it was all the better for it. Make sure you get your tickets to the ball - visit - Cinderella is on until 31 Dec.


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