REVIEW: Talisman makes two hours of top panto fun look easy

Traditional fun aplenty in Cinderalla
Traditional fun aplenty in Cinderalla
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Nick Le Mesurier reviews Cinderella at the Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth

It’s been a grand end of year for am-dram companies in the region, with just about every theatre playing to full houses every night, many of the shows taking on something new for Christmas.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional pantomime, not when it’s as good as Cinderella at the Talisman. It was lovely to bask in the old favourites: cross dressing dames, saucy puns, singalong songs, outrageous costumes, a beautiful heroine, wicked villains and lots and lots of laughter.

There were some wonderfully surreal moments, such as the hunt scenes when all sorts of weird animals appear on stage; or the kitchen scene straight out of Roald Dahl, bogies in the bread dough and all!

The audience thought it was all hilarious. I went on the Saturday matinee, when many of the audience were under five. If you can hold them for two hours and get them to join in you know you’re doing it right. And they did! There was a rush of little participants eager to take to the stage for the final chorus.

There was some good singing, especially from Fairy G (Val Whitlock) and Dandini (Kim Arnold). The Dames (Alistair Jolliffe and Des McCann) were delicious; Cinderella (Paige Phelps) all beauty goodness and light; Buttons (Simon Moss) hapless and heartfelt; and Baroness Beatrix (Gill Bowser) dark and saucy. The Prince (Kevin Wing) was as handsome as handsome can be. The big cast performed together effortlessly

Pantomime is one of the most demanding of theatrical forms. The Talisman make it look easy.

Well done, and a Happy New Year to all!

* Cinderella runs until Saturday January 6. Call 01926 856548 to book.