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Canterbury Christ Church University Pantomime ‘Cinderella’ Review!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CCCU chapter.

Canterbury Christ Church University gets a sprinkle of magic with its rags to riches pantomime, Cinderella.

This student led pantomime was written and directed by current Theatre Production Student Andrew Parker whose entertainment company, Bigfoot Productions, was behind this traditional adaptation of the classic story. Parker says “It was interesting working alongside a purely student cast and crew. It created its own issues unique to the situation such as working round so many different timetables and the dispersal of everybody for the Christmas break. While I also had to take time out for a professional Pantomime myself.”

We follow Cinderella on the journey to find her happy ending away from her Evil Step Mother and Ugly Sisters. Main actress Patricia Bajakova stepped into the title role with ease as she captivated the audience with a rendition of the Whitney Huston classic One Moment in Time.

The music played a vital role in this performance as it kept the audience glued and their spirits at a high. Well known tunes such as Pharrell Williams Happy, I Am the Music Man and Bruno Mars’ I Think I want to marry you were all heard and clapped along to.

Traditional panto character Buttons made an appearance in the form of Performing Arts Student Glenn Siggins. Buttons was a hit with the younger members of the audience even though most of his jokes went over their heads. His interaction with other characters was a recurring theme and added a witty comedic element thanks to the script.

The Ugly Sisters Porsche and Mercedes added so welcome comedic relief to some of the less energetic scenes which wouldn’t have worked without them. Third year students Jamie Sims and Karl Ladler created a great connection on stage and also managed to stay upright despite the heels they were wearing.

One thing that did falter with this show was the lack of set. At times the stage looked bear with one or two actor’s present but this was handled well by the actors and lighting team.

The star of the show for us was Stacey Etherington in the role of The Fairy Godmother. Even though the character wasn’t seen a lot we loved the actresses presence on stage and interaction with the audience.

Every good pantomime needs a villain and this adaptation of Cinderella was no different. Professional actress Karol Steele took on the role of the Wicked Stepmother with ease and sophistication. Her performance was comedic and captivating which had us looking forward to every appearance she made.

The costumes for this show were amazing and easily one of the high lights for us. Strange La Boo designed and created all the costumes to an incredibly high standard which enabled them shine and captivate audiences. The director would like to personally thank Strange La Boo for all the hard work that went into the amazing costumes.

Parker (Director) has a lot more plans in the pipe work. When we spoke to him he said “My plan in the long term is to write a complete set of traditional pantomime scripts to be available for pro and amateur productions along with some more unusual pantomime stories as well. I have a lot of professional work over the coming year including involvement on a technical level with a brand new musical due to debut worldwide in the university’s Anselm studio in the summer.”

He was also very appreciative for all the help and support he has had while undertaking this magical task. “I would like to thank the cast, crew and audiences along with the events team.  They put so much work in to help make this production. I would also like to say a special thanks to Adelaide and Karol who both joined the show less than 2 weeks before opening night and did an amazing job!

The Director, Cast and Crew would all like to thank the Canterbury Christ Church Music and Performing Arts Bursary Fund who supported the production and gave them the small budget they had to work with.

What were you thoughts on the Cinderella? Tell us on twitter at @HerCampusCCCU!

Ashleigh is 21 and is currently in her second year at Canterbury Christ Church University.