After experiencing lockdown, travel restrictions, and watching most of the rest of the world continue to wait to return to a pre-Covid level of “normal” I think just about all of us can relate to Cinderella’s excitement at being able to attend the Prince’s ball. Last night as I walked through the doors of the Isaac Theatre Royal I was just as giddy to experience “the fairy Godmother of all pantos”! It was a huge surprise to me that this is the first professional Christmas pantomime being performed in Christchurch. How lucky we are to get to experience the beginning of what I hope might become an annual tradition.
With only ten days of rehearsal, my thanks and accolades go out to Director Gregory Cooper, Musical Director Andy Manning, and Choreographer Gemma Kearney. What they have managed to put together is a tight ensemble, a slick production, and a show stopping spectacle. The vast backdrops being raised and lowered from above created perfect capsules for each scene, and minimised the amount of furniture required to dress the stage. The lighting was considerate and effective, with a lovely dose of special effects to create some of the fairytale magic required. The repeated use of the royal boxes which frame the stage created interesting levels, and really pulled the audience in. The production team deserve their own standing ovation.
Read the full review on Backstage Christchurch.