Footlights Pantomime: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Thu 23rd November – Sat 2nd December 2017


Laura Catherine Ferrier

at 09:03 on 24th Nov 2017



The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows an impressive assortment of characters as they attempt to rise up and take back control of their city, with a dash of radicalism, humour and song thrown in. An impressive cast and crew were hugely entertaining, making this a must-see show. Extremely well written and directed, this really is a stellar performance.

There is no weak link in the cast, with everyone producing a professional and entertaining performance. The amount of talent crammed into one show was a pleasure to watch. There can be nothing to fault with the singing and dancing, which were polished and well executed. If individuals had to be mentioned, John Tothill as the Dame was a crowd favourite, producing many a witty line and the occasional solo, including an excellent cheerleading number, where pom-poms were used to great effect. Zak Ghazi-Torbati as Frollo was also loved (or booed) by the crowd, with his sweeping entrances, love of irons and musical numbers. Megan Gilbert and Robin Franklin as Esmerelda and Quasimodo had a number of impressive solos and duets between them, filling to room and exuding confidence. A special mention must go to Leo Reich and Meg Coslett, who entertained in the interval and before the show, impressively maintaining character and improvised interaction with the crowd. Each individual actor should be mentioned here, as each was entertaining, funny and professional, creating a cast that shone.

The set was put to great effect, especially in a Tothill performance about the Cathedral, where each moving part came together to form a rotating glimpse into the building and its inhabitants. The stained glass window present in the tower scenes was beautiful and conveyed the grandeur and scale of the building, a difficult task on a relatively small stage. The costumes, hair and makeup were great, in particular the creations for Tothill, somehow bringing a cathedral to life, as well as the goat costume for Adam Mirsky, which added even more entertainment to an already hilarious performance from him.

In terms of lighting, a stand out moment came right at the beginning of the play, where the use of shadow to introduce the setting and characters was extremely effective and well-used, setting a polished and funny tone that ran through the entire performance.

The music was incredible, with the live band putting on a great show in the many musical numbers incorporated into the play. A particular highlight, both in terms of the music and lyrics, were the finale pieces at the end of each act, which left you wanting more, going into the interval and then out of the show with a bang.

There really is not space in one review to write how great this performance was. It was hilarious and well written, staged, acted, sung, lit and the list goes on. There really is nothing to fault with this show, and I would go see it again. Each actor was exceptional and as an ensemble they shone. They were a cohesive unit that worked together to produce a professional piece of theatre, which cannot be adequately conveyed in writing. This really is a must-see performance and a great way to finish off a Cambridge term and gear up for the festive season.


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