The Nottingham Playhouse won’t let a silly old virus get in the way of their festive fun. They’re streaming a pantomime Cinderella that’s as camp as Christmas. Hopefully when they yell, “he’s behind you!” they mean 2020.
Admittedly, they’ve had to make a few changes to keep virus-free, like reducing the number of performers, and keeping a couple of metres apart, but even with these restrictions, the show is pure joy. It sits in stark contrast to the general feel of this year – there’s all the colour, romance and banter you could ever wish for from your fairy godmother. And it feels so good to laugh about the ridiculousness we’ve all endured over the last few months – the Prince wanders through the woods, musing on how he can neither taste nor smell, and the ugly sisters mock the socially distanced audience for being so smelly they can’t sit together. All this wonderful silliness is accompanied by classic pop, brilliantly bright costumes, and the brilliant Gabrielle Brooks as Cindy.
The Guardian’s Mark Fisher calls Nottingham Playhouse’s Cinderella “colourful, abrasive and romantic,” making for a “lean and loveable show,” with “the defiant spirit of a classy panto.” Writing for East Midland’s Theatre, Phillip Lowe calls it “a high-energy, laugh-out-loud spectacular, with bags of local charm… the perfect antidote to these dark times.”
It’s properly classic panto, and the perfect remedy to your Covid Christmas blues. Turns out, we shall go to the ball!