Friday night was here and another pantomime for us to enjoy! This time we had the treat of watching Cinderella at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House on Westgate Road. We loved Enchanted Entertainment’s production of Snow White last year, so knew we would be in for a treat. We were pleased that Charlie Richmond was back with his Geordie jokes and daftness as Buttons & Lewis Denny as Dandini but we were looking forward to the live vocals of Collabro’s Jamie Lambert, X Factor’s Lola Saunders, and Maureen Nolan too. All of whom have a great track record of recording & performing in musicals.
The panto market is as buoyant as ever in the North East which was evident for in the sell-out show for the second show of the three-week run. Us Geordies can’t seem to get enough of the traditional Christmas fun.
Cinderella at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Enchanted Entertainment has pulled together a cracking performance at the Tyne Theatre. Focusing on everything that makes a Traditional Pantomime a success. The story of Cinderella is such a well loved and known tale, that even before we were at the Theatre the kids were talking about it.
With a flash & a bang, the Fairy God Mother (Maureen Nolan) burst onto the stage to set the scene and introduced us to Cinderella. In the first Village scene, Cinderella (Lola Saunders) bopped along with a supporting cast of dancers to ‘You can’t stop the Beat’ from Hairspray. We were right about the vocals as the singing was spot on & in perfect time to the live orchestra. I’ll also add that the audio in this panto was the best we’ve experienced this year. The balance between singing and music made every word crystal clear.
Lovelorn Buttons (Charlie Richmond) was in love with Cinderella, but a rendition of ‘Count on Me’ proved she wasn’t interested in him in that way in true panto fashion.
Baron Hardup (Connor Byrne) & Cinderella began to prepare for the return of his step-daughters from a Finishing School and they were as grotesque and funny as you can get. The ‘girls’ were nightmares from their Towie-Essex exaggerated accents and their constant put-downs of Cinderella didn’t let up. Their costumes really were fantastic in leopard print clashing colours & Buttons was on hand to get them back with a few cheeky retorts.
Prince Charming (Jamie Lambert) seemed a little nervous at times in his role, but again the vocals were where he shined. The Greatest Showman is getting plenty of royalties this year as ‘A million dreams’ was performed by the Prince & Cinderella in the forest scene. These guys could sing though so it was very enjoyable.
The favourite scene for me was the Fairy Godmother’s transformation to get Cinderella to the Ball, with gorgeous Shetland Ponies and a sparkling carriage. Buttons as the coachman was really funny as he pretended to drive Cinderella to the Ball at Darras Hall (watch out for the Kenton radgies!)
Also, the “12 days of Christmas” with the usual daft props were given a Geordie makeover “Three Byker dummies” (sausage rolls!) & a kiss from a bonny Geordie where poor Jen from the audience was given the honour of planting a smacker on Buttons at the end of each verse!
The Royal Ball
The second half after the interval really picked up the pace with a fantastic Ball scene. You cannot book a Nolan sister & not have the classic ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’ which got everyone singing along. The song was interspersed with ‘Time After Time’ and ‘One Moment in Time’ which was a fantastic musical arrangement.
As with all panto’s, there was a happy ending and Cinderella got her Prince after a lucky escape from the Ugly Sisters & a dark cellar! As they ‘prepared for the wedding’ Buttons invited up some children from the audience which always provides good laughs. My girls would never go up on stage so think the kids who take all the jokes and mickey taking are ace! The little girl who asked for a surprise for Christmas nearly jumped out of her skin when Buttons gave her shock & said ‘well you did want a surprise!’
Soon it was time for the cast to take their bows at the wedding ceremony. The staging really came into its own here and really did look super professional and glitzy. Enchanted Entertainment have a winning formula & are wise to have already signed Charlie Richmond back up for next years show!
The cast was happy to swing by the bar for a chat and some photos with the girls which they loved!
For more information about this or any other Enchanted Entertainment, shows visit their website
We were kindly given press tickets for this show.