The Playhouse Cheltenham 25th - 28th January 2023
A Thankyou From Our Director Ceri
Hello, you lovely lot!!
I do hope you are all rested and recovered after the show week!
I just want to thank you all again for your hard work and dedication, the show was a HUGE success and I have had some absolutely fantastic feedback. It also looks like we have made a significant amount of profit which is BRILLIANT so well done to all of you for pushing those tickets!
We have had our first review of the show from Simon Lewis which I have attached for you to see! I am still waiting on the review from NODA and as soon as I have it, I will send it out.
Photo disks of the show are still available to buy for £3.00, if you didn't order one, please let me or John Know and we will get one sorted for you. we will have the ones that have been ordered at the Joseph pre-auditions.
Taling of the Joseph pre-auditions, it was good to see some of you there at the open day on Sunday, it's looking like it's going to be so much fun and I would love to see more of you there at the other pre-auditions, it would be lovely too (hopefully!!) do a show on stage with you for a change!!
I am already talking about panto next year with the committee so watch this space for more news!!
Hope to see you all very soon! Ceri
Cinderella Show Review
The Playhouse Cheltenham 25th - 28th January 2023
Promenade Productions Cinderella, The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham
Review by Simon Lewis 26th Jan 2023
The King’s Own Cotswold Water Pistols and low-flying squadrons of chocolate fragments, some of which landed on my notepad as I scribbled away in the dark, assessing Promenade Productions’ latest instance of annual anarchy – if ever there was a case of the Cheltenham Playhouse becoming a hard hat area during a performance, this was it. Ceri Winrow’s upbeat adaptation of Cinderella ensured the godmother of all pantomimes got it squarely in the neck this time round, with no stone left unturned as Prince Charming, in a superb debut performance by Amy Benson, set about securing a bride. Meanwhile, a vulnerable glove puppet bunny spent most of the show hoping for some intervention from the Rabbits Protection League. No worries – the sell-out, highly responsive audience saw to that, alerting Bex Partlet’s animated Buttons and keeping all inquisitive interlopers at a safe distance.
Here again, was entertainment on a lavish scale. All present and correct were well-drilled young soldiers, The Great Desperate Dan Gag, enough spandex to kit out an entire football team, slick choreography, colourful costumes and a wheelbarrow full of corny jokes, some of them excruciatingly funny and featuring clever wordplay, others destined only for the royal privies, more than a few nods to daytime TV, with even The Great British Bake-Off, granted a look-in - this show had it all again (Oh, yes it did). But then, I’ve never known a Prom Prods show that didn’t.
The sprawling chorus of village maids was in fine voice, treating us to a pulsating rendition of Our House, and if there was one instance of everything meeting, nay exceeding expectations, it was the stunningly beautiful transformation scene. Suffused with white light reflecting off sparkling ball gowns, this was a champagne moment to savour, and you would be hard pushed to see a better one. Even so, the splendid interior of the Royal Palace ran it a close second.
As for the cast, this was another strong contingent treading the boards. Jodie Dwight made for a delightfully glitzy Fairy Godmother, Hannah Few and Sam Hughes were simply hilarious as the ugly sisters and let’s all raise a glass to Geoff in the front stalls who was never out of their firing line. What a thoroughly good sport! I loved Hannah Hayes’ performance in the title role, Nigel Oatway gave it all some backbone as the chirpy Baron Hardup sporting a highly suspect kitchen overall which I can’t really describe here. Charlotte Cox invested the role of Dandini with real glamour and spirit, and Maggie Preston brought a calm dignity to Chambers, the prince’s valet. Andrew Bullock and Ben Goodman chivvied everyone along as dodgy builders Bodgett and Leggett, reeling off more puns than you can throw a pumpkin at as the show’s Morecambe and Wise act. Well done to page boy Sam Galliers for providing the entire male chorus. Seriously, where have all the young men gone, long time passing? But resonant Peter “Red light spells danger” Hughes stole the whole show, commanding all attention, perched on high stilettos beneath a lurid crimson wig and pacing round the stage in black, white and scarlet as though he were standing in for Cruella de Vil.
Just a couple of minor concerns: some of the younger cast might try smiling a bit more, while others should face the audience to ensure their dialogue doesn’t fade away into upstage inaudibility.
But no matter. We’ll all be back for another basinful in 2024 when I will once more have the time of my life.