Words and pictures: Tori Erskine
Here at We Are Chester, we have been spoilt for choice with Christmas shows in Cheshire and further afield this year. A Christmas panto is undeniably one of the best family outings over the festivities, with jokes for the little ones, and of course, the grown ups too! This week we were off to the ball at Northwich Memorial Court to meet Cinderella.
ABP Pantos have produced some fantastic productions over the years at Brio Entertainment venues, Ellesmere Port Civic Hall and Northwich Memorial Court. This year was no different and also their most successful year to date.
Kate Salmon kicks off the production as the Fairy Godmother, getting the crowd hyped for the show. Kate is the perfect Fairy Godmother, bursting with energy and her character is full of warmth.
Georgie Jackson was back to the stage as Cinderella, having performed as Jasmine in last year’s Aladdin production, and once again brought star quality to her role. Lloyd Daniels’s performance as Prince Charming was charismatic and highly entertaining. One thing in particular about the show that my friend and I couldn’t stop talking about, was his vocals. It’s clear to see why he rose to fame on the X Factor as every song was note perfect. The pair had the perfect chemistry on stage, and from the onset you were rooting for their ‘happily ever after’ – even though you couldn’t help but feel for Buttons who loved her too!
Impressive line up
The impressive line up also includes Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona and Heartbeat’s Tricia Penrose as the Wicked Step Sisters. Naturally, when the pair come on stage the whole room ripples with ‘boos’ and ‘hisses,’ but I couldn’t help but like them, simply because they were hilarious and the perfect comedy duo. Not forgetting, Kerry gives an amusing rendition of one of my childhood favourites Whole Again, when she meets Prince Charming at the ball.
Northwich favourites, Ryan Greaves and Steve Moorewood were back this time as Buttons and Dame Hardup, and created some of their most comedic moments ever. Their usual 12 Days of Christmas song was one of the show highlights, sheer chaos on stage, and even a few Baby Sharks were thrown in too!
We also really need to talk about the FLYING CARRIAGE. You may remember last year, we mentioned the impressive flying carpet in ABP Panto’s Aladdin, and this year the magic didn’t stop as Cinderella flew over the stage in a lit up carriage!
The set was one of their most impressive yet, particularly in the ball scene, it was hard to miss the giant sparkly clock that reminds Cinderella to be home by 12. The cast really utilised the props well, particularly Buttons and Dame Hardup who really went to town on practical jokes on each other.
Pantomimes are renowned for being perfect for all ages, and this one in particular had the perfect jokes for everyone. References to Friends and Love Actually for the adults and Baby Sharks for the little ones. Not forgetting the classic innuendos for the grown ups too.
The show runs until the 31st December, so if you’re looking for something lighthearted and funny to get you in the Christmas spirit then this show is definitely it.
This year the team performed a dementia friendly showing of Cinderella, and on 22 December, there will be a relaxed performance too.
ABP Pantos also will be performing Aladdin over at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall with Coronation Street’s Nigel Pivaro and Britain’s Got Talent runner up Lucy Kay, from 16-24 December.
All tickets can be found at brioleisure.org or by calling the box office on 0333 666 3366.
We have given Cinderella a pantotastic ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐