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Review: Cinderella at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

By Josie Hannett

An evening of slapstick comedy and inappropriate innuendos.

That's what you're in for if you go and see Cinderella at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford this Christmas.

I'm an avid pantomimer, but this was the first show i'd seen at this particular theatre.

Shetland ponies make their way on stage, as part of Cinderella's carriage to the ball
Shetland ponies make their way on stage, as part of Cinderella's carriage to the ball

Louie Spence did a top class job playing Dandini, having the audience in stitches with his over-the-top dance moves, a highlight of mine was him taking the opportunity to twerk at every given opportunity.

Eastenders actress Michelle Collins played 'badie' Baroness Demonica. Though I thought her acting was a bit wooden at times, she certainly connected with the children in the crowd, who enthusiastically each time she came on stage.

The set of the show was fantastic - even featuring real-life Shetland ponies to take Cinderella to the ball, lighting up the eyes of astonished children in the room.

Louie Spence and Michelle Collins
Louie Spence and Michelle Collins

My favourite scene involved Louie Spence in a leotard alongside Phil Butler (who plays Buttons) expressively dancing with a giant balloon, sandwiching it between them so it didn't touch the floor. This scene had most if not all of the audience crouched over laughing.

The usual inappropriate - but very clever - innuendos, audience interaction and sing and dance scene are to be expected.

It definitely bodes huge competition against other pantomimes in the county. With an all-star cast the show is definitely not short on variety.

The cast on stage
The cast on stage

Tickets range from £15 to £40.

I left feeling very festive and with a smile on my face - what more could you want?

The show runs until Sunday 31st December. For tickets, visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk.

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