With a flash, bang and cloud of smoke, the legendary Hayley Mills (1961 Parent Trap, Pollyanna) appeared onstage at The Richmond Theatre in her pantomime debut. Mills, aged 69, was regal and elegant as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. With superb comic timing and such a radiance and warmth, the award winning actress was perfectly cast in this role.
Matthew Kelly (Stars in Their Eyes) and son, Matthew Rixon provided a terrific mixture of hilarity and villainy as they took to the stage in flamboyant wigs, high heels and elaborate attire as Rita and Cheryl – the Ugly Sisters. Naturally, the evil duo were no match for Rhiannon Chesterman as Cinderella and Andrew Derbyshire as Prince Charming, who blew the audience away with their astounding vocals as they fell head over heels in love, living happily ever after. Chris Jarvis (CBeebies) interacted beautifully with the audience as Buttons – seemingly the role he was born to play.
The choreography was innovative and showcased the high standard of talent, whilst the costumes were both breath-taking and imaginative. One particular highlight was the moment Cinderella transformed from rags to her ball gown. An absolute must-see moment – adults of the audience were awestruck, whilst children gasped in amazement and smiled, content that their belief in magic was well-founded.
Special mention goes to Richard Vincent for his portrayal of Prince Charming’s valet, Dandini. Causing much laughter throughout, yet never crossing that tragic line many panto performers cross – when it’s just too much – he managed to steal the show. With his witty jokes, and an entire repertoire of West End musical theatre songs, he transformed this usually unnoticed and ignored sidekick into a star the audience couldn’t help but love.
It’s definitely worth a train ride to Richmond! Get your tickets now and treat the whole family to a magical Christmas…
Booking until 10 January 2016, Cinderella is on at The Richmond Theatre – tickets are available via ATG Tickets