Panto Perfect! – Cinderella at York Theatre Royal – The Mumbler Review
The world of Pantomime in York has changed this year. York Theatre Royal had something to prove and did they prove it..? Oh yes they did!
We were invited along to the press night of York Theatre Royal’s Cinderella last night so we went along as a family to get the full experience. I wanted to see what my 6 year old and 9 year old thought to the new Pantomime offering. With the headline act being Andy Day from CBeebies, I was expecting they’d enjoy it, but I had underestimated just how brilliant it would be for all of us!
As it was press night, on arrival there was the very talented York Theatre Royal Choir greeting us with lovely festive carols – the foyer to York Theatre Royal is just gorgeous, a wonderful place to have a pre-show drink and soak up the atmosphere. There is also a cardboard cutout so that your mini mumblers can pretend to be part of the cast with Andy – they found this hilarious!
When it came to the main event, put on this year by Evolution Productions, we entered the theatre and straight away were wowed by the glittery set – My mini mumbler sat amused for a good 10 minutes before the show, counting how many cogs there are around the set (there are 82 in case you’re interested!) and my eldest was practicing her Roman numerals with the clock around the stage – who knew it would be an education as well as entertainment, but I’m all for it if it keeps them happy before the curtain is up!
Andy Day was, as you’d expect, brilliant in his role as Dandini (Prince Charming’s right hand man) with plenty of one liners, great physical comedy and a great sense of humour – His ability to take jokes on the chin about him being 2nd choice to Mr Bloom or Mr Tumble was refreshing and very fun!
But Andy wasn’t alone in his talent – the rest of the cast were just absolutely phenomenal. Cinderella and Prince Charming were just as the fairytale would have you believe – pure hearted, kind & true. The same, however, can not be said for the ugly sisters who were revolting and HILARIOUS! I cried with laughter at their perfectly over the top song & dance numbers, dazzling costumes (Double Dame Glam) and their interaction with the audience… just evil enough and with a wicked flirtation on some unsuspecting souls.
Poor Ian from the audience was picked out by them as ‘The Most Handsome Mad in the Audience’ Don’t sit near the front of the stalls if you’re looking for a quiet night!
There is a scene in the second half with the incredibly talented Duo Fusion – they are Arialists and their act literally took our breath away – with gasps of wonder (and a little bit of terror!) from everyone in our gang. Unbelievable talent and such an unexpected bonus to see this mid pantomime.
Speaking of talent – a special mention needs to go to the wonderfully talented Max Fulham who played Buttons. Max is a ventriloquist so had his side-kick Gordon the Monkey with him for most of the show. He was absolutely brilliant throughout – my 9 year old’s favourite scene was when he started talking with the dustbin. He, as well as the rest of the cast, was really quick witted when it came to ad lib moments too…. I love this about panto when it’s done well, you really feel a part of the show.
I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil the many surprises, other than to say we wholeheartedly recommend this show.. in fact we are honestly considering booking to go see it again, it was that good!
I did have pretty high expectations as, having been a fan of watching the CBeebies Panto each year, I knew that Andy would be a great addition to any show – but it met and surpassed my expecations in so many ways.
I wish we’d have recorded the conversation we had on the way home in the car – talking about all of our favourite bits “ooh and do you remember this bit” “oh and when they did that”. We were in fits of giggles & even had to recreate a bit of the show when we got home (see my instagram stories asap if you want to see that!)
If you want to book tickets (Oh yes you do!) then here are all the details. I wouldn’t hang about – I imagine they’re going to sell out no problem!
Cinderella at York Theatre Royal
Wednesday 8th December 2021 to Sunday 2nd January 2022
Various performances at lots of different times including many matinees
Sun 5 Dec, 1pm: Dementia Friendly Performance Sun 12 Dec, 1pm: Audio Described Tue 14 Dec, 7pm: Audio Described Sat 18 Dec, 2.30pm: British Sign Language Interpreted Sun 19 Dec, 1pm: Relaxed Performance Sun 19 Dec, 5.30pm: Captioned