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4.5* Review: Cinderella – Opera House Manchester

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Opera House Manchester where traditional panto Cinderella is given a little twist.

Olympic ice skating champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean join a talented cast for a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

It all begins with a large projector on the stage with the camera scanning the audience and stopping on different members, with instructions telling you to wave/ blow a kiss/ start a Mexican wave etc.

This gets everyone in the party mood and out come the dynamic cast for a real Christmas treat.

Eloise Davies in the title role gives a heartwarming performance in this rags-to-riches tale.

After being told by her grotesque ugly sisters (the hilarious Tim Hudson and Dave Lynn – who bounce around stage with a wonderful flamboyancy) she can’t attend the ball, she is granted a wish by her fairy Godparents Torvill and Dean and whisked away.

This pair are the real stars of the show, bringing a wow factor that both myself and my 11-year-old grandson found enchanting.

When they re-enact their showstopping 1984 Bolero routine you can feel the excitement and awe in the auditorium.

Liam Doyle as Prince Charming is suave and very handsome and I particularly enjoyed Samuel Holmes as Dandini, not only does he have a amazing singing voice his comic timing is spot on and he is able to raise a laugh with just his facial expressions

The script is very well written full of jokes and gags with lots of room for ad libs along with plenty of audience participation.

While there are no surprises all of the ‘he’s behind you’, ‘oh no he isn’t’ catchphrases come into play, much to everybody’s amusement.

The song choice by the producers is excellent, mixing current tracks with well-known classics to sing along to. The glitzy stage and costumes are also a colourful feast for the eyes and there are even some cute Shetland ponies on stage – put all this together and what more could you want from a pantomime?

The cast seem to be enjoying themselves just as much as the crowd – what a thoroughly enjoyable evening and came away with big smiles on our faces and jaws aching from laughing.

A must-see Christmas treat for all the family.

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