17:44 Wednesday 19 December 2012

Christmas can only start after a Panto visit


Cindarella - Nottingham Theatre Royal

IF I’m shouting ‘hello Buttons’ and ‘behind you’ it must be panto time, and that panto must be Cinderella Christmas starts for me the day I visit the Theatre Royal, in Nottingham, for its usually lavish pantomime.


This year’s no different. A big relief to see that there are no 3D effects anywhere to be seen for 2012, a craze that was everywhere for a couple of years.

In my opinion it’s much better without — far too much time spent faffing around with 3D specs for my liking.

No, this Cinderella sticks true to the story, no deviations from the classic tale. And we loved it.

Eye candy for the women (and men) is in the shape of former EastEnder John Partridge, who can dance with the best of them and holds a great note.

‘More mince than meat’ was his opening line, and the screams and whoops from the audience got louder with his every appearance as Prince Charming.

Sheila Ferguson, one third of the Three Degrees, plays the fairy godmother, and proved that her voice hasn’t suffered one bit with age.

The Grumbleweeds — yes, the two founder members of that 80s comedy and music band — literally stole the show as the Broker’s men, taking ad-libbing and corpsing to a whole new level.

The 12 Days of Christmas was actually eye-wateringly funny. Side-splittingly hilarious in fact.

The gags were almost endless, with the Grumbleweeds stealing from the audience, exploding a dove in a box of dynamite (neither real), cringeworthy stoolrelated injuries, a mesmerising Cher rendition — for all the wrong reasons — and any excuse for them to get nearly naked, it can get even the most straightfaced person chortling for Britain.

When you throw in a flying unicorn, the most outrageously attired ugly sisters and snow (yes, snow) you’ve got another triumphant offering from the Theatre Royal.

What a great way to start the festive season.

Cinderella is at Nottingham Theatre Royal until January 13.

Tickets, priced from £16 to £27.50 with discounts and concessions available, are available from the box office on 0115 989 5555 or by logging on to www.trch.co.uk

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