Cinderella at The Customs House: Comedy, charm and a sprinkling of emotion

The Customs House’s production of Cinderella will be performing until Saturday, August 12.

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If you are in need of The Customs House pantomime magic, there is no need to wait until the Christmas season, as they are currently performing their first ever Summer production in the South Shields theatre.

Written by Ray Spencer and Graeme Thompson and directed by Davey Hopper, the show is a re-telling of the well-loved story of Cinderella, with of course the typical charm and hilarity of a production by The Customs House.

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Rebekah Summerhill plays the titular role of Cinderella, which she does with ease. Summerhill radiates Disney princess energy in the role, and with her beautiful singing voice, she is able to tell Cinderella’s story well.

Playing her love interest as Prince Charming is Andy Borthwick, who also is able to be the perfect prince with the thigh slaps and winks of the typical handsome and romantic man who saves the damsel in distress.

While Summerhill and Borthwick help to keep the fairytale story on track, alongside the wonderfully talented and funny Jess Brady as the Fairy Godmother, it wouldn’t be a true pantomime without the villains, who we absolutely love to hate.

Putting a modern twist on the Cinderella villains, Christina Berriman Dawson plays the evil stepmother, alongside Dale Jewitt and David McCarthy as the stepsisters. The trio worked together exceptionally well, and provided plenty of humour.

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There was also a surprise appearance from a South Shields icon, which made the pantomime extra special.

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But the true stars of the show are Davey Hopper as Artbut-tons and Glen Richard Townsend as Den-Dini. The pair, who are known for their roles of Artbuthnot and Cousin Dennis across many Customs House productions, deliver most of the hilarious comedy moments, with a sprinkling of emotion.

Speaking of emotional moments, as Cinderella is Davey Hopper’s final pantomime before he leaves for Disneyland in September, the show paid tribute to that, with various jokes towards it throughout.  However, at the end of the show, there is an incredibly emotional moment which alludes to the goodbye of not only Hopper, but his character Arbuthnot too.

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Although Hopper will clearly be dearly missed by not only his fellow performers but the audience too, the absolutely fantastic Townsend has shown that he is the perfect person to fill Hopper’s shoes, while bringing his own unique style of comedy as his character to the shows.

Den-Dini played by Glen Richard Townsend and Arbut-tons played by Davey Hopper.Den-Dini played by Glen Richard Townsend and Arbut-tons played by Davey Hopper.
Den-Dini played by Glen Richard Townsend and Arbut-tons played by Davey Hopper.

The Customs House once again delivered a delightful pantomime for the whole family to enjoy, packed with comedy, South Shields charm, and plenty of singing and dancing.

Cinderella at The Customs House will run until Saturday, August 12. To book tickets please visit The Customs House website.