Cinderella, Stiwt Theatre, Wrexham - review and pictures
Rags to ball gown, ugly sisters to the kind fairy godmother, and a magical pumpkin-turned-coach, The Stiwt Theatre's pantomime production of Cinderella had all this and more.
Despite the theatre being located in the sleepy village of Rhosllanerchrugog, just over the Shropshire/Wales border, its pantomime was anything but, ensuring families got well and truly in the mood for the season's festivities.
Prior to watching this hilarious take on the heart-warming classic, I must admit I was sceptical and for two reasons, the first of which discovering the Ugly Sisters were being played by women – yes women – and the fact it starred panto newbie The Only Way Is Essex's Ricky Rayment, I just wasn't convinced he would be cut out for panto, and boy was I wrong.
Playing the role of Prince Charming, Ricky did just that, charming his way through the show and not in a sickly sweet way, despite falling head over heels for Cinders at first sight, played by talented Oswestry actress Charlotte Knowles.
And again to my surprise, he hit the right notes with his musical numbers, working well with Charlotte's beautiful voice.
However the biggest shock for me was the superb Ugly Sisters, played by Cerys Buck and Mattie Lefevre.
The pair had the audience in stitches from the moment they came on stage until the very end of the show. They did the iconic baddie role real justice, and were everything they should be, loud, obnoxious and damn-right cruel to Cinderella.
Then there's Gobowen's Michael Jenkins, who plays the Prince's right-hand man Dandini, who not only impressed with his powerful vocals but his fantastic rapport with the leading man Mr Rayment.
There wasn't a weak link in the cast, Coral Mourant played a lovely Fairy Godmother, singing all the right notes and making the audience smile – particular with her Honey G-style 'When I say Fairy, you say G', a nice nod to one of the country's most talked about "talent" – I use that term loosely – stars, while Harry Allmark's pantomime career got off to a top-notch start playing the lovable but hapless Buttons.
Aside from a few glitches with the microphones at the start of the performance, LHK Productions and The Stiwt's annual pantomime was everything you'd want from a panto and more, providing fun and enough 'he's behind you' moments for everyone.
Cinderella runs until December 31 at The Stiwt Theatre, with evening and matinee performances.
Tickets are available from www.stiwt.com or from the box office on (01978) 841300.