In the heart of Kings Cross and with excellent transport links, the Shaw Theatre is a well-situated venue offering good access features, so it should be possible to bring the whole family, whatever their requirements. The modern, well-designed auditorium has clear views and comfortable seating in all sections.
So, the practical aspects are great but what about their panto, Cinderella?
Increasingly, many pantomimes seem aimed at adults more than children, with risqué jokes and rather blue material. Rest assured that this production is good old-fashioned family entertainment and you can feel safe bringing your little ones along.
It has everything you’d expect from a traditional panto – a downtrodden heroine, a handsome prince, a fairy godmother and villainous ugly sisters. A lovelorn Buttons quickly gets the audience on his side and participating in both the storyline and a singalong competition.
With enough costumes changes to make Strictly Come Dancing contestants jealous, the ugly sisters provide the perfect target for the required booing and hissing.
Kelli Young (Liberty X) plays a lovely, ditsy fairy godmother and belts out some great tunes. She also provides an impressive bit of magic when turning the pumpkin and mice into suitable transport for Cinders to go to the ball, but I won’t spoil the surprise.
The sets are wonderfully sparkly, and the musical numbers are well chosen, with familiar crowd-pleasers to get everyone’s toes tapping. The dancers also boost the party atmosphere.
There are no real surprises with the plot as it’s so familiar to everyone, but this is a solid production and an enjoyable introduction to panto for little ones, with the requisite happy ending.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a panto, and what with movies having such amazing CGI technology and video games being so prevalent, I wondered if it might seem a bit tame for children. However, when I had a quick chat with some nine and ten-year olds during the interval they were loving it and scored it ten out of ten.
It may not have the big celebrities of other Christmas shows – or their big budgets – but sometimes energy and enthusiasm are all that’s needed to spark the imagination and create a feel-good atmosphere.
This show is a wonderful festive outing for everyone, and equally appealing to kiddies, grannies and grandads.
A note for parents; there is a stall in the foyer selling battery-operated sparkling wands, swords and suchlike and inevitably these were going down very well with the kids!
Directed by: Paul Lawrence-Thomas
Produced by: Shaw Theatre and Enchanted Entertainment
Musical Direction by: Kieran Stallard
Choreography by: Kerry Blaskett
Box Office: 0207 666 9021
Booking Link: https://www.shaw-theatre.com/whats-on/cinderella
Booking Until: 29 December 2019