Crowds have a ball as curtains open on Cinderella at Portsmouth’s Kings Theatre

Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as the other 'Ugly Sister' 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180829-4125)
Harry Howle as an 'Ugly Sister', Jake Quickenden as 'The Prince' and Paul Lawrence-Thomas as the other 'Ugly Sister' 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180829-4125)
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A BRA that was made to hold three, five toilet rolls and a bit of good old fashioned slapstick involving a fat bloke falling through the set quite literally brought the house down at the Kings Theatre last night.  

Scores of families packed out the historic Southsea venue for third – and official launch – night of its annual pantomime.

Jake Quickenden as ' The Prince', with (left) Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and (right) Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells

Jake Quickenden as ' The Prince', with (left) Natasha Barnes as 'Fairy Godmother' and (right) Kaya Rose as 'Cinderella' Picture: Malcolm Wells

And with its lavish sets, innuendos and brilliant vocals, it didn’t disappoint.

This year, the theatre in Albert Road is showing Cinderella, complete with pumpkin carriages, glass slippers and sparkly ball gowns, until January 6.

Headline star of the show is reality TV celebrity and singer Jake Quickenden, who gained fame with his appearances on X Factor, I’m a Celebrity and Dancing on Ice.

Jake plays the Handsome Prince, and can definitely hold a tune.

Left to right: Carolyn Glanville, 65, from Waterlooville, enjoyed the panto with her husband Chris, 66, and daughter Kerri, 45, and their four grandchildren - sisters Elizabeth, 11, and Elle Mugridge, 15, and siblings Kacey, nine, and Chace Glanville, five.

Left to right: Carolyn Glanville, 65, from Waterlooville, enjoyed the panto with her husband Chris, 66, and daughter Kerri, 45, and their four grandchildren - sisters Elizabeth, 11, and Elle Mugridge, 15, and siblings Kacey, nine, and Chace Glanville, five.

Speaking after the show, Jake said he was loving being in Portsmouth. He said: ‘The show speaks for itself, it is fun and it’s got a bit of everything in it for everyone.

‘I’m loving Portsmouth.’

But Jake is not the only heart-throb in the show, with panto stalwart Marcus Patrick returning for another year, playing his best friend Dandini.

Marcus rose to fame as Ben in Hollyoaks, and has since undertaken many other acting roles, but being from Gosport with family still living in the area, he holds a soft spot for the Kings.

He said: ‘It’s the theatre that I used to come to when I was young so to see new generations coming through and enjoying the panto like I did is really special.’

Cinderella would not be complete without a wicked stepmother and one of the best dames to walk the Kings’ floorboards is local star Jack Edwards. Jack, from Portsmouth, played Sarah Spoilit in last year’s show to rave reviews and this year he’s even naughtier and more wicked than ever before.

Also wowing the crowds with her impressive vocals was the Fairy Godmother, played by Natasha Barnes.

And sweeter than sugar Kaya Rose played Cinderella.

Among the families enjoying the show was Carolyn Glanville, 65, from Waterlooville. She was with husband Chris, 66, and they had bought tickets for their daughter Kerri, 45, and their four grandchildren - sisters Elizabeth, 11, and Elle Mugridge, 15, and siblings Kacey, nine, and Chace Glanville, five.

Carolyn said: ‘It is fantastic. I love the dancing, the singing, the audience interaction, everything. It’s a great night.’

Also enjoying the show was Harriet Griffiths-Horrod, nine, who was with her mum Charlotte. Harriet said: ‘It is great. I liked it when the horses came on stage.’

Charlotte added: ‘It is very good. We thought we’d come and support the local theatre. It’s nice to come in and enjoy it, rather than just waking past all the time.’

It wouldn’t be a fairy tale without a happy ending and everyone – from the youngest members of the audience such as Highbury Primary School to the triple 90th birthday celebration – left with a smile on their face.

For tickets go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk