The Gallery


 Anne Rogers as CinderellaTheatre Royal, Drury Lane - 16th December,1973

 Possibly the most star studded production of the pantomime “Cinderella” was staged for one night only at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal. The Charity gala was presented by Nigel Stock, on behalf of Clover Leaf Productions, written and directed by John Nathan-Turner. All proceeds went to the Brookland Primary School Swimming Pool Fund, and a donation to “Save London’s Theatres Campaign”.

The first ever production of “Cinderella” in its primitive 18th Century form was staged at the Theatre Royal in 1702. In 1804 again Drury Lane staged “Cinderella-New Grand Allegorical Pantomime”, although it was to be many years before it took on the form we would recognise today.

This charity production boasted a cast of stars of screen, stage and predominantly the WestJan Waters as Spencer End.(Dame) Judi Dench appeared as the Fairy, with Peter O’Toole a mere walk on- “Attendant at the gate”. Guests at the ball included the British film legend Jessie Mathews, Elaine Stritch, Joss Ackland and Marti Webb, attended by the footmen played by Richard Briars and (Sir) Donald Sinden.

The policemen were gleaned from popular television “Policemen” including Peter Byrne (Dixon of Dock Green) Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor (Z cars/softly softly) while a band of fairies looked after the proceedings- including Patricia Hodge, Isla Blair and Mela White in their number.

Buttons was played by Julian Holloway, and Cinderella by the West End musical star, Anne Rogers. Her wicked step-sisters were played by Bryan Pringle and Victor Maddern, as “Dolores and Fabrina”. The valet Dandini (or “Spencer” in this production) played by Jan Waters, with Sheila Hancock as Prince Mark.

The lowly villagers in the ensemble included Sara Kestleman, Sue Nicholls, Penelope Wilton and Edward Hardwicke, while Patrick Carghill entertained at the grand ball.

All in all, a spectacular cast for this, the most popular of pantomimes!

Sheila Hancock as Prince Mark

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