Lawrence Batley theatre, Huddersfield
“Ey up, Buttons!” says Cinders in this smart and sassy reboot of the traditional panto that is firmly (and proudly) rooted in the north.
There are medleys (Abba, Madonna, Jule Styne, Queen), energetic song and dance routines and even a touch of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with a leading man who channels Hugh Laurie with just a touch of Buster Keaton.
Written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Joyce Branagh (sister of Kenneth) Cinderella lifts the LBT Christmas offering to a new level, combining trad with rad and with a touch of the risqué (but always with a small ‘r’). It fairly rattles along, sprinkling giggles and guffaws amongst the banter, street talk (Adam Barlow nabbing the laughs as Prince Charming of Dewsbury), twerking and some spot-on interplay from Richard Hand and Michael Hugo as ugly sisters Kylie and Miley. Costumes and settings are outrageous, inventive and inspired, with Hand and Hugo making the most of Marie Antoinette wigs and some vivid couture. Theirs is a double-act borne of music hall and a touch of Old Mother Riley, but riotous and frenetic.
Natasha Magigi gets the plum double role of Fairy Godmother and Baroness Hardup, belting out some familiar hits, Gareth Bailey is bad jokester Buttons, equally adept at gurning and gags, Stephanie Hackett is a moustachioed Dandini and Nisa Cole is heroine Cinderella. This is the LBT’s first panto; as a debut it is to be warmly applauded.
To December 31.