It’s everyone’s favourite pantomime, and the children at Buxton Opera House’s Cinderella were certainly having a good time. They cheered, clapped, yelled and booed right on cue, and joined in with everything, including the pre-curtain Christmas songs.
There’s plenty of magic and sparkle for everyone to enjoy, from the well-drilled team of dancers to sweet-natured Cinders (Olivia Sloyan) and Prince Charming (Vlach Ashton) who lives up to his name.
It’s a thoroughly modern panto. Buttons (Jonny Freeman) has Facebook friends, visits Starbucks and plays Grand Theft Auto. Baron Hardup (Mark Kempner) is on the run from payday loan companies. The child-hating Ugly Sisters (Andy Spiegel and Mark Lyminster) are shopaholics who take in every familiar name on the high street, and no one is safe from their water pistols (and worse!). The four of them join forces for a lively dance routine which takes in all styles from Saturday Night Fever to Gangnam.
Sarah Thomas, late of Last of the Summer Wine, is Her Majesty – no, not that one, though there’s a strong resemblance; she’s the Queen of Fairy Godmothers, complete with silver handbag and royal ‘we’ and ‘one’.
There are plenty of traditional touchesas well: the songsheet, a delightful ultra-violet Transformation scene, the ghost gag gets an airing and the Fairy Godmother speaks in rhyme.
The Buxton panto is always a highlight, and this year it’s better than ever. Cinderella is at the Opera House until New Year’s Day.