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Cinderella delivers in Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 09:19 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 08 July 2010

The Swaffham Players - Cinderella at Hamonds High School Theatre

(December 29 & 30, January 1 & 2)

The Swaffham Players - Cinderella at Hamonds High School Theatre

(December 29 & 30, January 1 & 2)

IT is 40 years since the Swaffham Players put on their first pantomime so it seems appropriate that they should recreate the pantomime they presented on their debut - Cinderella.

Produced by Brian Hubbard, his 39th at the helm, the experienced cast and crew showed what can be achieved over 40 years through an accomplished and slick performance to do justice to the special anniversary.

Before I even mention the actors, credit has to go to those who actually get the stage set for the four productions. With stunning scenery, lighting effects and cleverly crafted props, the backstage crew showed what an important part of the team they are to make the job for those on the stage so much easier.

The music also has an essential role and again musical director Jill Dobbs was fantastic at the piano, ably assisted by Bob Dore on the drums - they would not be out of place beside a professional stage.

But back to the pantomime itself and once again the audience were entertained from start to finish with a script littered with local references.

“Do you believe in fairy stories?” Buttons asks Cinderella. “Next you'll be telling me Swaffham will be getting a swimming pool!”

They are also bang up to date with a neat X Factor scene, while the many costume changes kept each scene fresh and vibrant - although I'm not sure whose idea it was to allow the dame (Eddie Godden) to expose so much flesh!

But he can be forgiven due to the amount of energy he put into his performance, working his socks off and rightly centre of attention every time he stepped on stage - every cast needs an Eddie.

Others worthy of a mention were the fantastic Ugly Sisters (although maybe a bit too attractive!) Adeola and Sigourney played by Vicky Billman and Sue Baxter, who took the roles to their hearts. Sweet Ella Gardner (Cinderella) and dashing James Hewett (Prince Charming) were accomplished in the lead roles but I was also impressed by Nikita Ward who played Dandini, who spoke very clearly and had great stage presence. Liam Hubbard played the fool very well again as Tom and was well supported by Lucy Ward as Jenny Wren (is that your real laugh!?)

A quick mention must go to the dancers who had several routines to learn and especially one youngster (sorry, I didn't get your name) who sang a beautiful solo in the fairy dance - a real star in the making there.

The final line of the finale song went “You're going to finish on top” and once again the Swaffham Players did just that. A job well done.

Kathryn Cross

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