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Cinderella - Nottingham Playhouse Review

Reviewed by Bliss Warland-Edge
Disclaimer: tickets were gifted in return for an honest review

Nottingham Playhouse’s dazzling 2023 production of Cinderella packs an incredibly festive punch with sparky puns, gravity defying special effects and electrifying musical numbers that cast a spell on the audience. This is not your grandmother’s pantomime!

Jewelle Hutchinson and Young Chorus on stage in Cinderella. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Danny Hendrix is our favourite kids party entertainer
, as he bounds across the stage in the character of Buttons, creating an effervescent tone for the show and thoroughly engaging the kids with classic panto call and response about his “big gold button”. Soon after, we are introduced to our protagonist, a beautiful fresh-faced Cinderella (Jewelle Hutchinson), and her familycomprised of the stepsisters Violet (Tom Hopcroft) and Rose (John Elkington), and her stepmother (Alice Redmond). 

Redmond’s extensive acting career is obvious from her bold and captivating stage presence in not one but two roles- not to mention elegantly carrying off a green and zebra print get-up with matching green headdress in a surprisingly casual manner. If one team had to be commended from this production, it is without doubt the Costume team, supervised by Emilie Carter. The crown jewels in those designs have tobe summarised with only two words in describing the stepsister’s costumes in this production: show stoppers! Not only would Inspector Gadget feel envy for these incredible feats of engineering, but the chic style and elevation revealed by the hilarious Rose and Violet would inspire Ru Paul’s queens for decades to come.

John Elkington and Tom Hopcroft on stage in Cinderella. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Opposite our delicate leading lady, another standout actor sweeps onto the stage in the form of 
a likeable and down-to-earth Prince, played by the recognisable Liam Marcellino. Balancing suave confidence and slick choreography, Marcellino’s expansive repertoire is clear from his performance, not to mention his deep buttery voice that would do wonders on a Christmas album. Accompanying him is his partner in crime and right-hand man Dandini, played by the talented Georgia-Mae Price, offering some rivalry in her incredible singing and dancing talents, as well as some effective comedic timing. 

The golden shining thread tying this production together from start to finish has to be in the humour; from the fun call-and-response for the kids, to the witty puns for the adults, all the while throwing in regular high-brow and low-brow topical references to uproarious laughter from the audience. It is clear that Writer and Director Adam Penford knew how to meet the comedic needs of every type of audience member, with a packed theatre warbling along and chanting the panto phrases by the end, with adults laughing at the most childish low hanging fruit, due to the jovial lightness and the thoughtful local references within the production.

After an understated entranceour Cinderella wows the audience with effortless powerful renditions in Act Two and a quick-change moment that would rival a runway reveal. In addition to visions of the splashy psychedelic set designs, these memorable moments culminate in a breathtaking, had-to-be-seen-to-be-believed flying horse and carriage being literally lifted to fly over the audience, Hutchinson and Hendrix and all! Forget shiny lycra and campy extravagance, this high class, high budget, innovative and high-brow panto literally reminds the audience what truly makes the magic of theatre.


Cinderella plays at Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 13th January 2024. Tickets are available from

The cast of Cinderella on stage. Photo by Pamela Raith.

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