There can’t be many other pantomimes as magical as Cinderella and this year Manchester’s Opera House has pulled out all the stops to make sure it is every bit the fairytale for the festive season.
Despite a slow start this production is guaranteed to keep both adults and kids entertained as it draws you in to a wonderland of snow, stardust and skating! As with most pantomines there’s always a celeb or two at the helm and Cinderella is no exception –Olympians and Dancing on Ice stars Torvill and Dean make their panto debut as Fairy Godmother and Godfather. The well loved duo delight as they whizz around the stage in off ice skates (a bit like rollerblades to me and you) and show off their acting skills, which are surprisingly good.
Elsewhere the cast is made up of experienced musical theatre performers and panto dame regulars, each one of whom shine in their roles – proving you don’t need to have a full set of ‘names’ to have a great show.
The money saved from splashing out on a cast full of celebs seems to have been spent on the sparkling sets and lavish costumes which are really impressive. Eloise Davies as Cinderella has one of the best ball gown transformations I have ever seen onstage.
Her Prince Charming, Liam Doyle is as perfect as his title, he is easy on the eye and has a cracking singing voice (which is hardly surprising with a CV that includes stints in hit musicals such as Wicked and Hairspray).
There’s some great numbers from Doyle and Davies throughout sprinkling in current pop songs from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Take That to bring this panto up to date.
If you have to pinpoint the show stealer then there is a clear winner in Samuel Holmes as the Prince’s manservant Dandini, providing a plethora of witty one-liners and just the right amount of panto campness!
Watch out for the lovely nod to Torvill and Dean’s Sarajevo achievements back in 1984 with underlying Mack and Mabel music during one of the skating sequences. Plus it is worth the ticket price alone to witness the shows-topping finale that sees the pair treat the audience to a new breathtaking rendition of the Bolero.
As one of the songs in the show says: ‘I’ve got a feeling tonight’s gonna be a good night’ – well it definitely is at the Opera House, one which will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Runs at the Opera House until 3rd January 2016