Venue: Star Theatre 1, 145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton
Season: 10:30am and 1:30pm Tues 4th to Fri 7th, 6pm Sat 8th, and Mon 10th to Fri 14th (10:30am ONLY on Tues 11th) October
Duration: 2hrs incl interval
Tickets: All tickets $20 (adults at children's prices)
Bookings: 8234 1800 or via the web site http://whatson.mightygoodentertainment.com/cinderella.html
There would be few people who do not know the fairytale of the young girl living with her cruel stepmother and two Ugly Sisters who is made to work as a servant, doing all of the worst and dirtiest jobs in the house. Might Good Productions are presenting a pantomime that brings the story to life with some snappy dialogue, lots of songs, and plenty of laughs for young and old alike.
Malcolm Harslett, the hard working man behind the Mighty Good organisation, wrote and directed the pantomime, and he also appears in it as the King, father to Jmaes, the handsome prince and, more prominently, as Cyril the Servant, the aged manservant to the prince. Poor Cyril has prominent front teeth, causing whistled sibilants, so every time he speaks the kiddies in the audience giggle. Harslett has impeccable comic timing, creates a marvellous comic character, and is not short on his singing and dancing skills, either.
Harslett has been presenting pantomimes for a good few years now and knows exactly what works and how to entertain the young, their parents and their grandparents, slipping a few socio-political jokes into the script here and there for good measure. The Australian Prime Minister, naturally, does not get out unscathed by his cheeky wit. Good dialogue and song lyrics, with jaunty, danceable melodies, lots of comedy and great performances are coupled with some marvellous sets and terrific, colourful costumes.
As Cinderella, Talia Monaghan is absolutely delightful. She creates a character full of charm, innocence, gentleness and forgiveness, as well as singing beautifully and moving with style. Her sweetly cheerful characterisation nicely sets up the later love at first sight scenario.
Prince James is played by Ben Gatehouse who is every bit the handsome prince of Cinderella's dreams. He has a very pleasant tenor voice and gives his character a regal air. There is a real warmth in their scenes together and they waltz superbly.
Vince Fusco is Buttons, Cinderella's only true friend. He is not only a fine singer and a great dancer but is also very athletic, throwing in a few single hand somersaults as though they were simple. He exudes energy as his gives the role his all.
Dianne K. Lang plays the Queen, the wicked Stepmother, and Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. Her characterisations are so different for each of these roles that anybody not knowing her would not easily have realised it was the same person in all three roles.
As the Ugly Sisters, Richard Laidlaw and Tony Carpenter are hilarious, with plenty of slapstick, knock-about comedy and loads of physical silliness to keep the audience laughing. They seem to inspire one another to ever greater comic heights.
This is everything that a good pantomime should be and it was amazing how quiet the children were, other than when laughing, applauding or responding to questions directed at them by the cast. Treat the whole family to a great show. You will all love it.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.