Cinderella lr

By Tim Saunders

I’ve been reading Cinderella to my two young daughters for the past couple of months to familiarise themselves with this popular fairy tale. And it has worked a treat because when we saw Cinderella at The Mayflower they seemed to understand the plot despite their tender ages of just one and three.

Featuring Brian Conley as Buttons and Gok Wan as the fairy this magical production was always going to bring a smile to an audience of all ages. I used to enjoy watching him on Saturday evening television as I was growing up and it was great to be reacquainted with Dangerous Brian as he made a welcome appearance in Cinderella. Until this moment I hadn’t realised quite how talented Brian Conley was as a performer. Not only is he a very accomplished comedian but he also has a strong singing voice and bashed out some current hits throughout the show.

It must always be difficult to ensure that a pantomime appeals to today’s youngsters but it did this in spades. As Buttons made a phone call on a citrus fruit he pointed to it and said ‘I’m on Orange’. Harriett (3) could really relate to this because she is forever pulling similar pranks. There was plenty of humour and when Buttons slipped on Cinderella’s clean floor and then put a foot in her bucket the audience roared with laughter. I’ve seen various productions of Cinderella and this was one of the best because Brian Conley was such a strong Buttons. There were also some visually exciting moments including the flying motorbike and carriage, which mesmerised us all.

Cinderella runs at The Mayflower, Southampton until January 4, 2015.
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