NEVER one to subscribe to the ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ viewpoint, I did wonder, however, whether a morning helping of pantomime might change my thought process, writes Trevor Baxter.
Was someone who leaves his Christmas shopping to December 23 ready for festive slapstick on November 12?
Fortunately, this old curmudgeon has always had a soft spot for a good pantomime, even if it means two hours in a theatre full of excitable and occasional tearful tots.
So, Oldham Coliseum’s 2018 production of old favourite Cinderella was the perfect way to forget pressing deadlines and unfinished stories and begin the week with a smile.
Just three days into a run which goes through to January 12, the cast, including plenty of Coliseum favourites, was on top form and, just as important, full of enthusiasm.
No one personifies those qualities better than Saddleworth-based Richard J Fletcher with his high energy, bouncy portrayal of Buttons.
There is much to enjoy though with the entire ensemble including three notables Sue Devaney, Simeon Truby and Fine Time Fontayne.
Ashton born Sue, formerly of Coronation Street, Casualty and Dinner Ladies, is as excellent as you expect of such a talented actress in the role of ‘evil’ Countessa Vyella Squeezepocket.
Every performance of Cinderella can stand or fall on its Ugly Sisters and they do not come uglier, more revolting or crudely side splitting as Pumpy Squeezepocket (Fontayne) and Trumpy Squeezepocket (Truby).
“I have the body of Ariana Grande,” suggests one. “Then give it back to her as you are stretching it,” comes the retort.
“I have seen more modesty on Naked Attraction,” is another one-liner that thankfully goes over the heads of most young audience members.
Shorelle Hepkin returns as Cinderella after last year’s performance in Dick Whittington, Nisha Anil plays Dandini and the Fairy Godmother, Chante Faucher is Prince Charming of Lees Castle while Miteshi Soni is a good foil for the lead roles as Baron Boothby Mothwallet.
Do you yourself a favour and join in the mayhem! For ticket details go online:
• ONE lucky reader can win a family ticket to see Cinderella at Oldham Coliseum!
To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this question: What item does Cinderella leave behind at the ball?
Email your answer, along with your name and telephone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Local Communications Limited, Units 3-4 45 High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6HS.
Entries must be received by December 7, 2018. The judges’ decision is final.
A family ticket is valid for two adults and two children or one adult and three children. The winning ticket is valid for an off-peak performance on December 17 December 20.