Panto hits the high notes with classic charm and sparkle

PANTO Tracy Shaw as The Fairy Godmother.  (114287-2)
PANTO Tracy Shaw as The Fairy Godmother. (114287-2)
Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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IT’S that chilly time of year again, and nothing says Merry Christmas like a good old-fashioned pantomime. As the audience wrap up in their winter warmers, the stars of the show took to the stage.

Last night the classic story of Cinderella at the Kings Theatre was a heart-warming show for the festive period.

ON STAGE From left, Marcus Patrick and Stuart Wade performing in Cinderella at The Kings. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves  (114287-3)

ON STAGE From left, Marcus Patrick and Stuart Wade performing in Cinderella at The Kings. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (114287-3)

It was Stuart Wade, who previously starred in Emmerdale, who played a particularly charming Buttons. Whether it was spontaneous lines or fluffed-up words, he was a loveable character.

Gosport-born Marcus Patrick made his pantomime debut, and did not disappoint. Full of gusto and charm, the role of the Prince’s best friend, Dandini, came easily to him.

Coronation Street star Tracy Shaw shone as the mischievous Fairy Godmother, and the two ugly sisters, Richard Stride and Sean Luckham, worked the audience brilliantly with their troublesome double act.

Leah Bracknell played a formidable evil stepmother, with Last Of The Summer Wine’s Tom Owen starring as her bumbling husband.

Cinderella (Talia Janson) can certainly hit the high notes, and Prince Charming (Paul Callen) was strong in the royal role.

The dancing was pleasant, especially as the youngest members of the cast bounce around as bunny rabbits, and the music fitted wonderfully.

And let’s not forget the two Shetland ponies who help poor Cinders to the ball.

Wendy and John Belfield attended the pantomime with their son Archie, 11.

Wendy said: ‘We thought it was absolutely fantastic, and it was great for all the family.’

‘Everyone can enjoy a good pantomime – no matter what age!’

It may be blowing a storm outside, but you’ll be leaving with a spring in your step, and a smile on your face.

Until January 1.