Review: Camilla Dallerup has a ball in Cinderella at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre

Cinderella launch.  Emily Baker as Cinderella, Camilla Dallerup as the Fairy Godmother, Asa Elliott as Prince Charming, Tony Rudd as Buttons, Dean Horner and Oliver Gray as Livinia and Louisa Hardup.
Cinderella launch. Emily Baker as Cinderella, Camilla Dallerup as the Fairy Godmother, Asa Elliott as Prince Charming, Tony Rudd as Buttons, Dean Horner and Oliver Gray as Livinia and Louisa Hardup.
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Queen of the dance floor Camilla Dallerup ch-ch-charms her way into the hearts of young and old in Chesterfield’s pantomime with a dazzling display that Strictly would be proud to show.

Her moves are elegant and polished in a sharply choreographed scene which forms the centrepiece of the palace ball in Cinderella.

Sparkling like a glitter ball the TV dance contest champion, who joins the judges on next month’s live tour of Strictly, is appraised on her fancy footwork by X-Factor judges Cheryl and Mel B in an hilarious send-up up by the Ugly Sisters.

It’s a good job they weren’t marking Camilla on her singing at the performance I saw yesterday afternoon (Saturday, December 6) because I doubt whether she would have got a golden ticket to judges’ houses.

However, what Camilla lacks in vocal prowess she makes up for in her portrayal as one of the most glamorous Fairy Godmothers ever to wave a wand in the Pomegranate theatre.

Asa Elliott, the singer from telly sitcom Benidorm, is in fine voice as the Prince. His signature song, Somewhere from West Side Story, suits his vocal range. And James Dangerfield is the most likeable, comical, vocally proficient Dandini I’ve seen, his native Lancashire accent is as warm as his rapport with the audience.

Slipping into Cinderella’s fairytale world, Cara Dudgeon scrubs up well as Princess Crystal, with a pretty singing voice to match her looks.

Comedy is in plentiful supply, largely generated by impressionist Tony Rudd in the role of Buttons. HIs ‘ay up mi duck’ catchphrase in Donald Duck accent is a winner, as is his send-up of Bruce Forsyth, Agnes Brown and Homer Simpson.

The ‘aren’t we gorgeous?’ Ugly Sisters Lav and Lou, played Oliver Gray and Dean Horne, grow taller with each appearance as they trot on stage in skyscraper heels and beehive hairdos. But the Uglies’ outfits in the showpiece ballroom scene are among the least impressive in their wardrobe.

It’s also a let-down that there aren’t real ponies pulling Cinderella’s carriage to the palace instead of men wearing horse’s heads.

But one thing you can count on in this panto is that snow will fall at every performance from now until January 4.

GAY BOLTON