Review: Cinderella at Oxford Playhouse
"You'll be amazed by just how F.E.S.T.I.V.E you feel."
So, it's panto season again and Oxford Playhouse may have to bring in 30 or 40 St. John's Ambulance volunteers to man its aisles.
Because the strain this year's show puts on the heart, lungs, stomach (all those mince pies) and throat ("Heeeeeeeeee's behind you!") is simply daunting.
Who's responsible? Well, in no particular order the following – writer/director Steve Marmion, the cast, (including the cat and mouse), the chorus, the musicians and of course, the audience (take a bow, we can be pretty good).
Put together, shaken well and stirred, they serve up the genuine, definitive, feel-good spirit of Christmas.
All two hours of it.
And if you think pantos can't be given a shot of much-needed adrenaline once in a while, prepare to stand in the corner with your ‘Dummy’ hat on.
Indeed, according to the classic Oxford-er-Dictionary, the definition of this year's panto is: "A hot, hip, really sick, in its crib, groovin', sweatin', shoutin', screamin' (and that's just the mums and dads) X-Factor, Disney Channel, X-Box hit of a show".
All the classic 'behind you' moments are still there but revitalised, reinvigorated and recharged. You'll jeer, hiss, boo, scream, cheer and sing-a-long (and probably louder than your children too...) but you won't care.
And afterwards, in the theatre foyer, you'll be amazed by just how breathless, red-faced and... F.E.S.T.I.V.E you feel.
Cinderella is at Oxford Playhouse until 8th January.
Images - © Geraint Lewis
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