It’s that time of year again when annual pantomimes are staged and thankfully, the Tea Tree Players’ version of Cinderella is just the ticket to get you into the Christmas spirit.
In a production free from the nonsensical thing we call ‘political correctness’, Cinderella has all the usual innuendo and fun that you’d expect from panto, particularly in the performances of the ugly stepsisters (which of course are traditionally males).
Damon Hill as Mona Hard-up is hysterically funny and is well supported by Gabe Steinhauer as Grizelda Hard-up in a match that has potential to become a regular gig at the Mars Bar nightclub on weekends. The great thing about pantomime is that it serves to entertain both adults and children in a manner that allows for humour a little risqué, which bypasses the innocence of children whilst making grown-ups laugh.
The support cast each hold their own in their respective roles, with good individual performances by Caleb Bond, Sam Creighton, Russel Byrne, Mike Phillips, and Frank (or should I say Fwank!) Cwiertniak.
The roles of the Fairy Godmother (Hayley Mitchell) and Elfie (Taylah Cini) are delivered beautifully with the charm and grace expected, and special mention must go to wardrobe for such excellent costumes and ‘dazzle factor’ in this production.
The standout performance in Cinderella is the lead actress, Amber Platten, who plays the title role with such grace and elegance that it elevates the show to another level. Platten seems destined for good things theatre wise, and has a Grace Kelly presence about her.
There were a few minor technical hitches on opening night and Director Tina Cini may have done well to tighten some numbers which were a little long or choreographically loose, but Cinderella is in all a fun, family-friendly night out and is more than affordable entertainment.
In the lead up to Christmas, do try to take the family out and support this local production from the Tea Tree Players which encourages the audience to become children once again.
Reviewed by Darren Hassan
Venue: Tea Tree Players Theatre. Yatala Vale Rd (cnr Hancock Rd), Surrey Downs
Season: 22 November – 7 December 2013
Duration: 2 hours (20 minute interval)
Bookings: Book online via SeatAdvisor