Princess Theatre, Hunstanton, panto review by John Maiden
In 2012 a consortium led by Brian Hallard took over the running of Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre.
For the first three years a Christmas show, produced by Michele Larkin, proved hugely successful in attracting school parties.
In 2015, it was decided to stage a pantomime, and Aladdin was a hit. Last year, so was Jack and the Beanstalk.
This year, Cinderella is bringing in school parties from near and far.
Everyone knows that Cinders (Helen Farrell) will go to The Ball, lose her slipper and find her Prince Charming (Simon Hollosi) but it is what happens in between that makes the story magical. Dandini (Adam Tremlett) swaps places with the Prince to ward off golddiggers, such as the Ugly Sisters (Seren and Elise Whyte).
Baron Hardup (Mervyn Francis) is not much help, but then his character is not meant to be!
Buttons (Andy Eastwood) does his best to cheer everyone up with his jokes and a talent for stringed instruments.
Cinderella’s Fairygodmother (Hannah Bird) ensures the story has a happy ending.
Dancers from the Rollason stage school perform perfectly and young Tommy Rollason is slick and quick as ever with his juggling act.
The singing is superb and Jess Smith’s musical direction is first class. Scenery and costumes are bright and jolly.
With apologies to panto dames everywhere (especially the one who literally swept me off my feet a few years ago), I have to say Cinderella did not need a male dame.
The same is true when it came to the Ugly Sisters.
Two years ago the Whyte sisters starred as Ping and Pong in Aladdin. In spite of being attractive and vivacious in real life, Seren and Elise made excellent Ugly Sisters.
Their interaction with the audience was amazing, especially when it came to swatting marshmallows into rows of schoolchildren. “Have a lick and pass it on,” they cried!
Surely, there must be roles for the Whyte sisters in next year’s panto, which is Snow White. In the meantime Cinderella runs until January 1. For details ring 01485 532252 or visit www.princesshunstanton.co.uk