24th May, 2017

Crowd had a ball watching the Norbury Players' Cinderella

AN ENTERTAINING afternoon was had by all at Droitwich’s Norbury Theatre when the players put on their annual pantomime – Cinderella.

The title role was played well by Megan Harrington who was taken into the audience’s hearts from the off. She also put on the vocal performance of the show with her rendition of One Moment in Time.

Hetty Bentley made for a good Fairy Godmother and likewise James Cowlishaw and Melanie Brown as Baron and Baroness Hardup were solid throughout.

Although staging a pantomime in January is good in one way as it can extend the festive season, it is sometimes difficult to get the audience in festive mood again post-Christmas and new year and that task fell to Freddie Lockett. Because of this, he had a slow start as Buttons but got better in the role as the afternoon progressed, did well to jockey the crowd along and by the end he was a firm favourite with those watching.

There was also a good rapport between dodgy tradesmen Bodget and Leggett (John Birchley and Mandy Hawkes) which generated a few laughs.

But the stars of this enjoyable show were Tony Boardman and Paul Wood as the ugly sisters Gertrude and Grizelda. Their on-stage chemistry, body language and banter with the audience (especially Jim six rows back) was a joy to watch – they delivered the groany but great one-liners with perfect timing, ventured among the crowd several times and the scene in their boudoir which featured a giant spider led to plenty of noise from the audience (especially the younger members).

Another fantastic moment was the cake-making. As well as bringing some classic panto slapstick, it also featured a very clever parody of Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off which made references to the Great British Bake Off.

The music and dance was of a high standard and the pick of the scenes was the song ‘If I were not in this panto’ where the choreography was phenomenal. It was impressive enough with two or three characters on the stage as their flailing arms narrowly missed each other but when it got to nine and ten you could hear the sharp intakes of breath from the audience and the longest applause of the afternoon greeted its successful conclusion.

Overall this was another great annual offering from the Norbury Players and is well worth a watch.

The remaining performances take place at 7.30pm tonight (Saturday)), Thursday (January 19), next Friday and Saturday (January 20 and 21) and from January 26 to 28.

There will also be matinees tomorrow (Sunday), next Saturday and Sunday (January 21 and 22) and on January 28.

Tickets are £12 or £10 concessions (children 16 years and under, full-time students and adults over 60).

Visit www.norburytheatre.co.uk or call 01905 770154 for tickets and more information.