Torvill and Dean in Cinderella at Bristol Hippodrome review – ‘alluring and charismatic’

Torvill and Dean get to use of one of the largest stages in the country for their second highly successful venture into pantomime, in this lavishly mounted version of Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome.

The Olympic icons employ new-fangled roller blades that mimic the edges of ice skates, yet work on any smooth surface. So right at the end there is even the delight, for audience members of a certain age, of a slightly different, at times aerial, and still breathtaking reprise of their 1984 gold medal-winning routine to Ravel’s Bolero.

Initially, the conventional Cinderella script struggles to squeeze the two skaters in as fairy godparents, invisible to everyone except Rhiannon Chesterman’s appealing Cinders. But this is quickly forgotten amid so many additional attractions.

Assistant director Samuel Holmes, for example, is a hoot as Dandini, not always the most rewarding of roles, while New Zealand comedian Jarred Christmas, a rarely-bearded Buttons, works equally hard to keep the Ugly Sisters (Tim Hudson and Charles Brunton) at bay.

The rich red-and-gold costumes and silver sets are another boon, and only the music does not quite reach the same high standard. But what pantomime score could compete with Maurice Ravel, anyway?