Family fun for all with the belle of the ball

Cinderella
Cinderella

If it is a fun-filled family pantomime that you are after then look no further than the Tyne Theatre’s Cinderella.

This year’s offering at the city centre theatre is without doubt one of the best I have seen, and as an entertainment reporter I’ve seen a few.

Cinderella

Cinderella

I actually saw this show as part of a school trip, which was a different experience to most press nights.

But seeing the delight on the children’s faces and the amazement at what was happening on stage made for a brilliant afternoon of entertainment.

Starring Maureen Nolan as the Fairy Godmother, XFactor star Lola Saunders as Cinderella, Mike from CBBC’s The Dumping Ground and Tracy Beaker as Baron Hardup, Charlie Richmond as Buttons, Britain’s Got talent winner Jamie Lambert as Prince Charming, and Alnwick’s very own Lewis Denny as Dandini, the show is incredible from start to finish.

It is quite possibly the most enchanting tale of all, and it was performed with sheer brilliance by the cast.

Charlie, as Buttons, was superb. Not only did he play the lovable character who loses out on the girl of his dreams, but gains her as his best friend forever, but he is also the MC for the show – and he is just brilliant.

Lola is stunning as Cinderella. She has the voice of a star, which is not surprising considering her XFactor success, and her acting skills are pretty good to boot.

She plays the role with elegance and grace, and her transformation into the belle of the ball is nothing short of magical. I won’t say too much about it as there are a few surprises that you don’t want to be spoiled.

She meets her Prince Charming, and Jamie is perfect for the role.

And, of course, the ugly sisters need a mention. Their garish outfits, masculine disposition, and hilarious double-act was just fantastic. There were plenty of boos as they were nasty to poor young Cinderella, and cheers as their feet didn’t fit the shoe.

And Lewis was hilarious as Dandini.

Alnwick born and bred, he is a true highlight of the show, from his scenes with the ugly sisters as he pretends to be the prince, to the superb 12 days of Christmas number with the rest of the cast, Lewis nigh on steals the show.

And of course, you can’t forget a Nolan sister. Maureen is fabulous as the Fairy Godmother, a true pleasure to watch.

The music, from the brilliant house band, was also sensational. Of course, there were tracks from the Greatest Showman, as well as up tempo numbers such as You Can’t Stop The Beat, When You Believe, and a personal favourite, Time After Time.

The whole production was outstanding and the perfect show for young and old.

For me a pantomime needs to make you feel like Christmas, warm and cosy, with twinkling lights and full of happiness, and Enchanted Entertainment’s Cinderella does exactly that.

There are gags aplenty, innuendoes and double entendres, but all that rises above the heads of young children and gives adults the chance to fully appreciate and enjoy the production.

If you have a chance to see it, do.

Cinderella will be on stage at the Tyne Theatre until Sunday, December 30.

For ticket prices, booking and information visit http://tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk