ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

exactly what the name implies and with Rebecca Towner-Yates as the sidekick Dandini, offered some silliness to the production. Mhairi Jennings set the tone and got the audience engaged immediately with her Fairy G character, speaking in rhyme. Seb Green as Buttons did all that was required of this part. He had the audience “awwing” as he told how he was in love with Cinders. He interacted well with all the other characters and engaged us all in the participation sections. The alliterated rhyme about Bob the Bunny was a little long and as such many of the audience forgot whole or part of it. The part of the Baroness is usually played as the evil, boo hiss character. Beverley Eaves played her slightly more glamorous with an air of menace lurking behind the smile and reminded me of Joan Collins’ character Alexis in Dynasty. Steve Daniels supported her as the Baron Hardup. Sometimes the dialogue level dropped and became a little hard to hear. The “Ugly Sisters” were a tour de force in this production. The humour came through from Natalie and Stewart Bowden. There was great chemistry between this double act. The interaction from Stewart (Grizelda) with a male member of the audience was a hoot, poor “Chris”. I bet he didn’t expect to play a significant part in the day’s proceedings when he and his family set out for the theatre. Natalie (Gertrude) had excellent energy on stage, continually in character and had very expressive facial expressions that totally enthralled. A pantomime is an opportunity for those younger members of the cast gain experience of flying somewhat solo on stage. I am always amazed at the confidence these young actors have to go on stage and deliver dialogue, sing and dance. It was a pleasure to see that such an opportunity was taken by this group. Isaac Fletcher-Shaw gave a commanding performance as Chambers. Poppy Land, Ross Provart and Harry Goodwin were confident to deliver their little bits of dialogue. I always remember being told, “there is no such thing as small parts, only small performances”. The matinee performance that I attended had a large number of young people in the audiences, Brownies, Rainbows and a few birthday parties etc. At times, I noticed that their attention wandered but as soon as Isabel Fletcher-Shaw and Alfie Hall, Bodget and Leggett, came on stage they were instantly re-engaged. The mixture of slap stick, stooge humour had them howling with laughter. These two made a great silly duo and made the most of their appearances on stage. You both knocked it out of the park!