Ay up me ducks, it is panto time again.
This year’s pantomime at the Regent Theatre, Hanley, Stoke on Trent is Cinderella, written by Alan McHugh with contributions by Christian Patterson who also directed the show.
It stars the Potteries panto favourites Jonathan Wilkes as Buttons and Christian Patterson as Baroness Heifer Hardup and also returning is Kai Owen as Dandini joining in with the fun and frolics.
Prince Charming is played by Ryan Jupp opposite Naomi Slights in the title role of Cinderella.
The ugly sisters are played grotesquely by Vivian Parry as Stacey and Annie Wensak as Nessa, they loved the audience booing them for the villains they are and their costumes are so over the top they are amazing, oh no they are not, oh yes they are, see what I did there, I could t resist.
It is all part and parcel of the traditions of a Christmas Pantomime and they are all observed here, the audience participation, to the colours, music, sing-a-long and panto dame.
The whole company are extremely talented abd give excellent performances from the minute the curtain rises.
Jonathan Wilkes makes an understated entrance, not, ha ha, and you heard the audience cheer when he appeared and at this point his face lit up, he is like a five year old on Christmas Eve, all excited. You can see how much he loves doing this show and it was even more special considering the difficult circumstances over the last couple of years. Christian Patterson is a funny, flirty, cheeky Pantomime Dame, Kai Owen makes up the trio, he has got so much energy, constantly dancing all over the stage which I now refer to as the Dandini shuffle, come the new year we will all be doing it.
The friendship between the three of them shines through when they are on stage together especially during the 12 Days of Christmas scene, this had me in stitiches, it didn’t all go exactly as planned but that just added to the enjoyment.
The end of the first act is qui to e spectacular from the fabulous duet between Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother played by Olympia Curry, both have great voices and excellent harmonies, this then leads to a fabulous transformation but I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
It is a wonderful night out at the Panto and although this was my first Regent Panto it won’t be my last, it is a perfect family evening at the theatre for children and adults alike. As Dandini says throughout the show ‘love you Stoke’ and I truly believe they all do.
Cinderella runs until Saturday 2nd January at the Regent Theatre, Hanley Stoke on Trent. They are also having a relaxed performance on Friday 30th December at 1pm and I have included the link below for anyone who may be interested.
Information regarding performance times and tickets can be found on their website, on the links below: