Review: Cinderella, Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield

Cinderella Chesterfield in front of star curtainNo matter how many times I see Cinderella I can still get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as Prince Charming finds the slipper fits his Princess.

If the chemistry between the characters has the necessary fizz and sparkle you just can’t beat that fairytale moment.

And so it is in this year’s rags to riches classic pantomime at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield.

The enchanting Cara Dudgeon as Cinderella and handsome Asa Elliott, as her Prince, are the perfect magical couple and they gave a highly polished performance.

I was expecting a strong performance from singing sensation Asa, who made his TV debut on Stars in their Eyes and went on to make a name for himself as the cabaret singer in the hit series Benidorm, and he doesn’t disappoint.

The wonderful surprise was that Cara, who is relatively new to the stage, is able to hold her own alongside him.

But that’s not all because great though these two are there are a whole host of other fantastic performances from a cast which clearly wants to make sure everyone goes home with a huge grin on their face and a warm glow in their heart.

Pantomime is all about the children and if you want them to escape into a fantasy world for a couple of hours take them to see this Paul Holman Associates show.

The fast-paced production has all the panto staples, outrageous costumes, slapstick, naughty inuendos, dazzling sets, a snow machine and of course buckets of fun.

The big name star of the show is Strictly Come Dancing’s Camilla Dallerup as the Fairy Godmother – who is pretty much considered an honorary Derbyshire star for helping local acting hero Tom Chambers win the competition.

Her warm, fun personality shines through in her performance and of course we get to see her dance.

Buttons is played by the talented Tony Rudd, a comedian and impressionist with Bruce Forsyth as part of his repertoire.

With that a little clue you can probably guess what the cast might get up to in one scene but I’ll not spoil it for you. – you will have to wait and see.

While Camilla is top of the bill I am sure she won’t mind me saying that the undoubted stars of the panto are the Ugly Sisters Lavinia and Louise played by Oliver Gray and Dean Horner.

Between them they have a great armoury of sassy one-liners and their costumes have to be seen to be believed. The hair, the stilettos, the buttocks and breasts – they were all magnificent.

Their tomfoolery alongside Buttons and Baron Hardup, played by Andrew Haynes was hilarious. At times you couldn’t tell whether it was planned or actually covering up on-stage blunders – whichever it was it was great fun.

The last member of the cast but by no means the least is James Dangerfield who plays Dandini with considerable stage presence. He can act, sing and dance and must be in line for a lead role soon.

As always with a Paul Holman production the dancing was slick and this year the dancers are Anita Achillea, Bethany Carr, Frances Dearlove, Tilly Rose Ould, Jordan Rose and Zak Watson Smith.

The pantomime children are Martha Barratt, Emily Bushell, Vienna Harkness, Jamie-Lee Jones, Robyn Kirk, Amelia Pickering, Bethan Tyas, Ellie Shepherd, Yasmin Brien, Katie Clarke, Larissa Myronko, Chloe Pearce, Isabelle Pook, Amelia Siddall, Alexandra Somers, and Oliver Thurman. The choreographer is Vicki Jackson.

The musical director is Keiran Stallard and the percussionist Sam J Turner.

The show is directed by Richard Cheshire.

Cinderella is being performed at the Pomegranate Theatre until January 4. Go to for ticket details.