Writer & Director: Paul Hendy
Following this year’s Cinderella, it’s clear to see from its magnificent staging with lighting, sound and a cast to match just why the Lyceum Theatre panto is the jewel of Evolution Pantomime’s crown.
Paul Hendy directs and writes the piece and while he uses a young member of the cast to reflect some issues people may have with the plot, overall he keeps the it simple, sweet and in keeping with the original fairytale. What Hendy does do is explore Button’s love for Cinderella further and this creates a really lovely moment in act two.
As with all Evolution productions, there are lashings of traditional elements like shout outs, audience participation, corny puns and that all important pantomime bench. These all are tightly executed by a wonderfully enthusiastic cast that is clearly having a ball on stage.
Paul Gallagher, also known as Mister Maker takes on the role of Buttons. He’s charming and lights up the stage every time he enters. At the same time, he has a lovely quality of showing the more vulnerable side of Buttons too. He’s a crowd pleaser and a firm rock to the production.
Toe tapping her way into the shoes of the Fairy is Joanne Clifton. Clifton is chirpy, light on her feet and has some funny audience interaction. Not being sickly sweet also makes the audience get behind her more in her destiny to gain her wings and become a true Fairy Godmother. Her dancing skills gained from Strictly are put to good use here as every set of rhyming couplets are performed to a different style of ballroom.
Evelyn Hoskins and Oliver Watton star as Cinderella and Prince Charming. Both have lovely chemistry together and have superb voices. Also, a shout out to Lewis Herring who has some cheeky regular appearances throughout. His flamboyant moves and over enthusiastic vibes create some extra funny moments in this already jam packed show.
Sarah Langley’s stunning choreography is up tempo, slick and energetic. It also blends well with a beautiful piece of aerial work by Connor Bryne and Tiffany Gaine from Duo Fusion UK which is above the stage while Cinderella and Prince Charming share their first dance. It’s drawdropping and just shows how no expense has been spared to create a spectacle.
To complete the wonderful show is Musical Director James Harrison who himself is a star of the show. Harrison fully interacts with the show from one of the boxes, alongside his band. His enthusiasm is infectious and his work with the music leads to some strong musical numbers, full of electrifying energy which includes a really nice rework of You Don’t Even Know It from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Under Hendy as Director and Emily Wood as producer, all elements come together to form a sparkling and superb panto. With immense musical numbers, truly beautiful lighting, a gorgeous golden carriage and a cast that work like clockwork to pull off this splendid show. This polished production is a fantastic evening out for the whole family.
* Decision based on a ticket price of £25. For more info on this value for money rating please visit here: Introducing a new kind of rating