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Published 10 December 2014

What’s it all about?

Puns, giggles, silliness, dancing, chart-topping music, kids beaming in the stalls, glow stick waving and a put upon daughter who is destined to marry a prince but needs a magical hand from a Fairy Godmother. Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is!

Apologies for the early doors panto gag; happily now it’s behind you! (Oh no it isn’t etc…)

How do they tell the story?

This is a perfectly formed, classic panto with all the festive ingredients you’d expect.

Eric Potts’ script has enough gags per minute to impress even champion witticism spitter Tim Vine, who brings a natural warmth to the stage as Buttons. These are proper panto quality jokes that left me crying with both joy and anguish.

Matthews Kelly and Rixon are suitably grotesque as ugly sisters Cheryl and Mel, sporting outfits that are a feat of engineering and design.

There’s 3D shenanigans replacing the UV fun of my youth, oodles of audience participation and, in Amy Lennox and Liam Doyle, a pair of picture perfect leads who bring West End quality to the cast.

Oh, and of course there’s the star casting of Dallas’ Linda Gray as the Fairy Godmother sprinkling US glamour like fairy dust across the production and happily having fun poked in her general direction.

What did the kids like best?

The in-unison murmur of excitement after two chords of the Act 1 closing number would suggest that, unsurprisingly, the addition of Frozen’s Let It Go to the show is a hit with the kids, as was the snowy, sparkly, Shetland-boasting splendour of this set piece.

Also, that 3D section, with all its shouting and jump-inducing fun, went down a treat judging from the squeals of excitement.

In a nutshell

Fun, laughter, music, silliness and heart; a fabulous festive family treat. Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! (I’ve overused that now, haven’t I?)

Will my little one like it?

If the screams of delight, dancing in the aisles, waving of flashing wands, excited shouting, rapt silence, oohs, aahs and post show bounciness are anything to go by – and that’s just the parents! – then yes, they absolutely will. If you love panto and all its glorious traditions, excesses and silliness, you will too.

Trip Tip

If you’re driving to the show, there are a host of car parks not too far from the theatre as it’s very close to Wimbledon’s shopping centre. On Saturdays and Sundays leading up to Christmas, the council-run car parks are free to encourage shoppers. This could help your pocket, but, as there are many of us preparing for Christmas, it also makes parking spaces harder to come by.

Cinderella plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 11 January. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website, or for performances from 1 January take advantage of our Get Into London Theatre deals.


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