Classic panto updated – with some saucy jokes

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Past was fused with present at The Groundlings Theatre as children and adults alike were treated to the classic tale of Cinderella with a modern-day twist – most notably with a score full of recent chart-topping hits.

The intimate setting of The Groundlings became even smaller and cosier, as Cinderella and co descended on the audience for an evening of Christmas cheer.

01/10/14  SA''The Groundlings Theatre Company in Portsmouth have launched their panto for the forthcoming winter season, Cinderella.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142869-6) PPP-140110-161640003

01/10/14 SA''The Groundlings Theatre Company in Portsmouth have launched their panto for the forthcoming winter season, Cinderella.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142869-6) PPP-140110-161640003

Children clapped and laughed as crowd favourite Buttons, played by Jack Tutt, bounded about the stage engaging with those in the crowd, while the adults were able to enjoy the innuendos.

A favourite with the older audience members, but which left a few children scratching heads, were the aptly-named stepsisters.

Tequila, described as short, horrible and only enjoyed after 10 pints, and Rosé, cheap and easily picked up in Tesco, had the parents in stitches.

Leah Lloyd and Scott Alexander had great chemistry on stage as Cinderella and Prince Charming, giving the story the romantic heart which makes it what it is.

Every cast member delivered a fun-filled performance, which made for an enjoyable show.

The set was cleverly designed and manoeuvred for such a small stage, transforming from a library to a bakery to the evil stepmother’s kitchen within a matter of seconds during the lively musical performances.

Jenny Nutt, 46, an English teacher from Gosport, took her students from Brune Park Community School to see the show.

She said: ‘I loved the show. I have been to all The Groundlings shows since June – I spend most of my life here. It is a lovely environment for the kids to be in to understand theatre and how it works.’

Betsy Wakefield, 15, a year 11 student at the school, said: ‘The show is really funny.

‘Buttons is my favourite character because he interacts with the audience.’

Lorry driver John Rogers, 50, from Copnor, took his daughter Seren, 14, to the pantomime, who said: ‘I loved it. I thought it was amazing.’ John simply smiled and nodded in agreement.

Cinderella will be showing at the theatre, in Kent Street, until January 4. To purchase tickets visit groundlings.co.uk