Words by Oscar Hammerstein II and Music by Richard Rodgers
NST Campus (Nuffield Theatre),
January 2018
Director: Victoria Luke
Cast List

Notes on this performance

130. Cinderella

I needed a time-out so I became a set designer for opera…

The American author Maurice Sendak is responsible for the above quotation so it is very unlikely that he would have coped with this production of Cinderella! Here, the set was simply stunning - clever, imaginative and its creation involved many hours at Nursling for the designers, builders and an army of painters.

The 2017/18 season began in a very uncertain fashion as the Society’s finances had dwindled to a point where the group’s immediate future was in grave doubt. An EGM was held where various options were considered including the future of Nursling – fortunately nothing could be done immediately and under the guidance of the new Production Manager, Phil Read, the formidable set took on a life of its own.

A much-needed money-spinner was needed for the winter production and Cinderella was an interesting choice. In 2013 the Future Shows Sub-committee had recommended it as being the perfect follow up to Beauty and the Beast as it would tempt the large audiences back for more of the same. However, the Committee of the time was nervous about risking a relatively unknown show with no instantly recognisable songs so soon after losing a lot of money on the Disney classic. 

The current Committee was more optimistic about Cinderella though and were pleased to have the Beauty and the Beast directing team of Vic Luke and Nigel Finch back in control. Rachel Stannik and Hilary Green became their respective assistants whilst Gill Parry master-minded the Choreography.

For 94 years the Echo had reviewed the Society’s shows but had now decided that amateur productions no longer warranted its attention. The quoted critique comes from the internet via Scene One Plus and unsurprisingly the reviewer was highly impressed by the two leading ladies, ‘Kate Robbins brings all her charm and natural stage presence to the fore as Cinderella, especially in the transformation scene, which is delightfully done. Her singing throughout is pure and winsome. Susie Maycock continues to shine, bringing grace, poise and warmth to her Godmother character with just the right touch of impishness, too.’

Indeed, all of the principal performers excelled in their roles, ‘Ann-Marie Sait is suitably ‘bad’ as Stepmother, complete with Patsy wig and faux leopard skin, while Amanda Peaty and Kate Mathieson twitter their disdain in outlandish Essex girls style, relishing their ‘Stepsisters’ lament’ duet. James Gould sings and dances his way into Cinderella’s dreams with macho steadfastness, while Tina Adams and Jonathan Fulcher provide humorous distraction as his concerned parents. Able support comes from Matthew Pike and Russell Dutton and a focused chorus.’

Like Beauty and the Beast, attendances for Cinderella were initially disappointing but improved dramatically as news of the show spread. The show did make a loss but a relatively small one of £453.

Terry O'Farrell

                            Amanda Peaty (Portia), Ann-Marie Sait (Stepmother), Katie Mathieson (Joy)

                                         Centre standing: Jonathan Fulcher (King) and Tina Adams (Queen)

                                                    Kate Robbins (Cinderella) with Susie Maycock (Godmother)

                   The Transition Scene: Susie Maycock (Godmother), Kate Robbins (Cinderella) and four white horses!

                                   The Ball Scene: Kate Robbins (Cinderella) with James Gould (Prince)

Left: Ann-Marie Sait (Stepmother), Katie Mathieson (Joy), Amanda Peaty (Portia)... Centre: James Gould (Prince) with the shoe... Right Tina Adama (Queen), Jonathan Fulcher (King)