Review: Cinderella – A Comic Relief Pantomime on BBC Two

By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour

I thought I was done with Pantos for 2020 and then one more lands in my inbox.

Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas which will be shown on BBC Two on Christmas Eve (20:15) and BBC iPlayer. Then I saw that it was for Comic Relief which presented some causal guilt and then I saw the cast list which gave me some excitement.

Presented as a one-hour zoom call interspersed with Comic Reliefs standard requests for donations and music performances from Sam Smith and Leona Lewis, we are treated to Cinderella with an all-star cast on.. Zoom (Other video conferencing products are available.)

The worlds of film, comedy, drama are thrown together for what is essentially a panto readthrough with the amount of gusto you’d expect from Olivia Coleman, Guz Khan and Tom Hollander with Jimmy Akingbola, Tom Davies and Aisling Bea. Then seemingly sweeping in furlough on the set of her latest Hollywood quirky family film comes Helena Bonham Carter. Acting Royalty!

Yea yea I get that Olivia Coleman is this huge Oscar-winning actress but she’s also that lady from Peep Show and Broadchurch, but you could imagine her giving you sweets at a press night for a London show when she’s sat next to you.

I found myself laughing more than a few times at the daft 2020 references and classic panto jokes that help kick the plot along. There’s plenty of random cameos which I won’t spoil here.

Incidental music is proved by Daniel Pemberton (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) with lovely illustrations from Sir Quentin Blake. With this tone, it almost feels like a Jackanory story with some slightly more grown-up jokes.

As well as award winning comedy siblings Daisy May & Charlie Cooper as the ugly sisters, there’s also some proper up and coming drama actors as the thrust of the story in the shape of Anya Taylor-Joy and Regé-Jean Page. You know they are proper up and coming as they have three names. They play the socially distanced Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Grab a drink, some nibbles and settle in for an hour of fun and daft moments over Christmas with this cheeky but charming (see what I did there) production.

Merry Christmas.

Find Dave at brumhour.co.uk


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