Before it had even started there was a feeling that this pantomime was going to be special. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t have a special allegiance to any of the cast so that alone wouldn’t have drawn me in and Cinderella wouldn’t have been my obvious choice of show to take two young boys to.
We’ve been to the theatre more this year than ever have before and during serious musicals like Evita I’ve willed the boys, in true Victorian style, to be seen and not heard. But I suppose the pantomime is one show where the parents can really relax because it doesn’t matter if our children are on their best behaviour – in fact, it’s much more fun if they are a bit rowdy!
CINDERELLA AT BRISTOL HIPPODROME REVIEW
The night we went, the auditorium was packed with families, young children and a fair proportion of adult-only groups.
Some of the children were proudly wielding those battery-operated whirly, flashy light things that they often sell on holiday at exorbitant prices. My children already know the answer, so they don’t even ask if I’ll buy them one anymore. Yes, I know, I’m mean, but surely the world already has enough unnecessary plastic?
The atmosphere was buzzing and after a new year style countdown the curtain went up. The introductory song and dance were very boppy and reminded me of one of those holiday rep shows.
As you might expect there were plenty of references to Bristol and a good smattering of “Cheers drive” and “My lubber”s.
Buttons demonstrated a handy device which translated posh accents into proper Bristolian with the press of a button.
At 7 years old Bubble picked up on the lavatorial humour.
“In Westbury, they’re so posh they get out of the bath to have a wee.”
“That means he wees in the bath, doesn’t it Mummy” Snigger, snigger.
But I think I was relieved to see how much of the humour did go right over the children’s heads. Perhaps the caked-on grotesque make-up and gruff voices gave them a hint that one of the ugly sisters, (Graham Hoadly as Miley) might not be a lady after all, but Paul Burnham as the slender Tulisa could blissfully have got away with being female, in their eyes.
I’m not at all sure what the boys made of Louis Spence as Dandini. When he first entered, he pirouetted across the stage and displayed his amazing flexibility by performing upside-down splits with his legs above his body. It would have been hard to have made a camper entrance and he stole many of the scenes he was in because – well, adorned in a variety of glittering outfits including shocking pink waistcoat, tights, and boots, a pink sparkly tunic, a sparkly pink top hat, and glittery tap shoes, it was hard to take your eyes off him!
CINDERELLA’S BEST BITS?
Before the show, we were all given 3D glasses and I don’t want to give too much away here, but suffice it to say that as we were leaving, I overheard audience members exclaiming about how much they’d enjoyed that part of the show.
My 7-year-old’s favourite character was the tall, fair and handsome Prince Charming. Sometimes when I hear a singing voice it hits me deep inside and triggers that strength of emotion that music used to evoke in my teenage years. I would certainly like to hear Andrew Derbyshire perform again.
CINDERELLA – THE VERDICT
This performance of cinderella is full of romance, glitter, glamour, base humour, elaborate costumes and an extravagant set. And yes it’s camp. Very camp. There’s mincing aplenty.
A very professional and fun production – we loved it!
- As usual, if you’re going with young children, a small booster seat for their chairs might be handy.
- Be prepared to spend a lot of money on small, unnecessary plastic items – or not. Bah, Humbug!
PIN THE CINDERELLA PANTOMIME REVIEW FOR LATER
READ THE FULL GUIDE TO BRISTOL HIPPODROME SHOWS
For up-to-date show information, read my full Bristol Hippodrome what’s on guide covering Bristol Theatre productions right up to date including pricing, booking information and links to reviews with age suitability guides.
CHECK OUT OTHER BRISTOL HIPPODROME SHOW REVIEWS
Enjoyed our Cinderella review? Then check out our latest show reviews on Practically Perfect Mums
Feeling Christmassy? Then check out my big guide to Things to do this Christmas in Bristol and Nearby 2022. It’s packed with fun things to do and places to go this festive season and also includes useful booking information, ticket costs and accessibility details.
For the festive vibe, you also need to click through to my Guide to Christmas Ice Skating Rinks around Bristol this year. This handy article shows all the places you can ice skate in the area – both indoors AND outdoors. There are also fun festive alternatives, like ice bumper cars, ice training dolphins and seals! And I share the details of a brand-new destination for ice skating near Bristol in 2022 too!
Disclosure: We received tickets for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are mine and the boys.
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