We really really got lucky when Rhondda Cynon Taf Council invited us along to see this year’s pantomime, Cinderella, at The Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare. I’ll be honest, the main reason I was excited was because The Fairy Godmother is played by Claire Hingott who plays Nurse Cheryl in Stella, one of our favourite TV shows! In fact she mentioned her Sidekick in Stella, Mrs Wong, several times during the panto which really had us laughing!
I know panto isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve always rather enjoyed it for what it is – a lot of fun! The best part of this particular one for me was how local the whole thing is. It’s like Cinderella set in the Valleys, with loads of mentions for local places. I’m still pretty new here, but that didn’t matter and I got all of the local jokes.
I’m so glad we managed to go on a weekend when the big stepkids were with us, as they probably got the most out of it. Biggest kid is ten, and calls herself ‘the TENager’ so I wasn’t sure she’d admit to enjoying it but she lapped it up. Both big kids were quite taken with Buttons (played by Kit Orton who is soon to play Tom in the Tom Jones Musical!), and so was I. He was lively and hilarious, and had us all roaring over and over. He also had the best songs, according to the kids. The whole panto included lots of their favourite tunes actually, and I caught them dancing and singing along several times! Iris spent much of the first half dancing some questionable moves as well as stroking the poor man sat in front of her. She somehow slept through most of the second half, but as she’s rather poorly I’ll let her off.
The costumes were really something. I particularly liked Prince Charming’s tights and wondered if I could squeeze Trevor into a pair. The Fairy Godmother and Cinderella had wonderful sparkly gowns, but of course the best costumes went to the ugly sisters (played by Frank Vickery and Richard Tunley). Biggest kid was gobsmacked by some of the things they wore, and said ‘Where do you even buy stuff like that???’ in disbelief! My favourite costume though, was one of Cinderella’s, that changed from rags to ball gown in one strange turning-inside-out sort of movement in the middle of a song and in the middle of the stage!
From start to finish, we danced and laughed and sang along. That is exactly what you want from a pantomime. Cinderella hits the nail on the head. The jokes were cheesy but funny, the dancing was perfect, and the songs were just right.
There are only a couple more shows at The Coliseum in Aberdare before it moves over to The Park and Dare where lots of the performances are already sold out. A family ticket costs £48 and tickets can be purchased from the RCT Council website.
*Rhondda Cynon Taf Council gifted us some free press tickets for the purposes of this review, but all words and opinions belong to me and my family.*