It is a delight to review Dan Burton’s debut album Broadway Melodies. As choreographer Stephen Mear has long known, Burton is currently amongst the finest of musical theatre “triple threats” (defined as talented in all three skills of song, dance and acting) and a man who unassumingly provides an assured touch of class to all his roles, whether they be leading or support.
If you don’t, you are not in the panto zone, and as O’Grady’s ever alarming Lily Savage would put it, “shaddup, if I wanted your opinion I’d slap it out of ya.” For this really is the mother-lode of pantomime: heavy on stars but, more importantly, getting every ounce of hard work out of every one of them, mercilessly.
There’s an aura of timeless quality that pervades the touring production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, currently in its second week at Wimbledon. Ian Fleming’s wonderfully imaginative tale, so quintessentially English, married to the universal appeal of the Sherman Brothers’ songs has made for a 20th century fairy tale that ranks alongside the classics.
Initial casting is announced today for Qdos Entertainment’s London Palladium production of CINDERELLA. The 32 strong cast will be led by Paul O’Grady as The Wicked Stepmother, Julian Clary as Dandini, Lee Mead as Prince Charming, Paul Zerdin as Buttons, Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain and Count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup. The roles of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and the Ugly Sisters will be announced soon.
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