Cinderella 1935/36

Alhambra Bradford

Mr Francis Laidler, the king of pantomime must be congratulated on his splendid production of “Cinderella”, which opened on December 21st amid tremendous enthusiasm, and the wonderful triumph of this pantomime presages another huge success and, consequently, a long run.

A radiant show, sparkling with colour and scenery, tasteful music, lavish dressing and fast and furious fun. The principals, chorus and sunbeams are all excellent: they work together as one team, happily and joyously resulting in a smooth running show. The comedy, rendered by a team of six, is the dominating note of this gay and carefree pantomime. Comedian-in-chief is Reg Bolton as “Peter the page”, who keeps his audience in the best of hulour the whole of the time he is on the stage.

Marion Dawson and Ivy Proudfoot are a pair of spiteful “Ugly Sisters”. Marion as “Trixie” is better than ever, Ivy Proudfoot as “Julia” gives a polished performance, which stamps her as an actress of experience and ability. The Principal boy and girl, Phyllis Godden and Bessie Pratt, are appearing in the same theatre two years in succession…fully justifying the confidence placed in them by Mr.Laidler. Phyllis has an attractive personality, a pleasant voice, and, above all her splendid deportment allows her to display magnificent costumes to their best advantage. Bessie is dainty and sweet, and polished in her dancing. Bradford ’s own principal girl has certainly done justice to the parts of “Red Riding Hood” last year, and “Cinderella” the present season.

One of the greatest successes in the show is scored by Ivy Luck, who plays the part of “Dandini”, the Prince’s valet. Vivacious, and with an entrancing stage personality, she scores individual applause by her work in “Hunting Rag” and “We all go Ha, Ha, together”. She is without a doubt one of the best Dandinis ever seen in any “Cinderella” pantomime.

Claude Worth, as the “Baron de Broke” is associated with many of the humorous episodes of the pantomime: a useful man to have in pantomime, as he can play any part true to pantomime traditions. The “Broker’s Men”, Jimmie Kidd and Paul Tracy are expert tumblers. Their brisk acrobatic work stamps them as knock-about comedians of more than usual ability. Pegi Rhys is a charming Fairy Godmother: so dainty is she that one can really imagine she comes from Fairyland.

The 12 John Tiller Girls are a remarkable troupe of dancers, who work with the splendid precision and novelty that one has come to expect from girls trained at the Tiller school. The outstanding novelty number is that in which they dance with both hands and feet (covered with shoes and stockings)and they present a quaint appearance as a result of wearing masks on the top of their heads.

Then there are The Sunbeams- no Laidler pantomime would be complete without a troupe of these entertaining juveniles: They dance and sing their way into everybody’s hearts. Their number “Grandmother’s Days” is especially commendable. Many popular and delightful songs run through the pantomime, including:

“Lovely to look at”

“If my love could talk”

“Open up your window”

“Love is everywhere”

“When I grow too old to dream”

“Cinderella” is, indeed, one of the most enjoyable pantomimes seen in Bradford in recent years: grown ups and children alike will revel in its radiance and comedy for many weeks to come.

Extract from “The Bradford and District THEATREGOER, January 1936. Published and distributed free by Yorkshire Theatres Ltd. A Francis Laidler publication!

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