Fairy dust and family fun in Fareham

Cinderella at the Fernham Hall
Cinderella at the Fernham Hall
Joe Pasquale as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Picture: Michael Wharley

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Ferneham Hall

WITH a sprinkling of fairy dust and a little help from a godmother from Down Under, Cinderella made it to the glittering ball in last night’s pantomime at Ferneham Hall in Fareham.

It’s that time of year again when families flock to the theatre to escape the cold and watch a tale to warm the heart on a cold December evening.

Anne Charleston, the Neighbours star who previously played Madge Bishop, spoke her verse with gusto and her occasional appearance in a puff of magical smoke always brought a cheer.

But the real shining star of the evening has to be Ben Redfern as Buttons. Playing a character that is always an audience favourite, he quickly became a hit with the younger ones as he sang One Direction’s hit,What Makes You Beautiful, to a mop in a wig. The string of popular songs continued as Ugly Sisters, Floribunda (known as Flora) and Marjorie (known as Marge) arrived on stage to It’s Raining Men. Played by Richard Pocock, who grew up in Southsea, and Mark Siney, they were a great pair.

Pantomimes are all about classic British comedy and entertainment and that was summed up as the sisters got ready for the ball, with Punch and Judy style puppet bodies coming out of the ‘steam machine’.

Carly Thoms played a blushing and sweet Cinderella, while Amy Ross and Sammy Kelly starred as Dandini and Prince Charming. All three had beautiful singing voices.

A mention has to be given to the scene where Cinderella heads to the ball. The stage trickery used to show the transformation is truly brilliant.

Sam and Andy Haselip were there with their two children, six-year-old Ella, who was celebrating her birthday, and 11-year-old Marnie.

Sam says: ‘We love a traditional pantomime, and it’s good value for money too. The children love the comedy side of it. We’d definitely come again because we have all really enjoyed ourselves.’

It runs until January 6.