IT’S always a fun night when it’s pantomime time. My companion for the evening, believes that pantomime is an authentic British tradition, and that can only be a good thing. It was a packed house: with a wide range of ages, but the children took pride of place. It’s a time for families, where generations come together: one grandfather had brought his whole family to celebrate his birthday. The atmosphere was totally relaxed, until the water pistols shook things up a little and made people shriek and laugh at the same time. The ugly sisters, Jamie Morris and Tarot Jospeh, were sublime: their constant change of wardrobe was, in itself, a show-stopper. I thought their current outfits couldn’t be topped, and then…an ugly sister as a tiered cake plate (with cakes), an ugly sister as a bad burger (fabulous). So hats off (they too were spectacular) to Elizabeth Dennis who is Head of Wardrobe/Costume Designer: she’s a great talent. Olivia Birchenough is sparkling as Cinderella, and she has a strong, melodic voice Tam Ryan, as Buttons, works his socks off to entertain the audience, and is totally engaging. Alison Hammond is inspired as Fairy Godmother. She has a bouncy, can do, attitude, though doesn’t always get the magic totally right, which makes it even more entertaining. Gary Davis, as Baron Hardup, has an operatic voice, he sounds like he’s wandered off an opera stage: and manages to combine this with comic aptitude. Prince Charming, Adam Bradley, is handsome and charming, and George Olney, as Dandini, is entertaining and memorable. The Liverpool Theatre School dancers are star material: some are quite young, yet all are equally talented. The sets are sumptuous and beautifully crafted (Head of Production, Andy Batty). Everything has been done with a sense of magic in the air, and the audience loved it, especially the small people, some of whom, got up on stage and got involved in a laughing competition. So a shout for: Andrew Margerison, Director, Lee Lomas, Choreographer; Anthony Williams, Executive Director; Tom Chester, Musical Director, and Martin Dodd, the Producer. They have all come together with gifted actors and dancers to conjure up a wonderful night of entertainment. Cinderella is at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, December 10th 2016 until Sunday 8th January 2017*. Review by Jean Hill Floralpavilion.com Box Office: 0151 666 0000 *Check dates, on 1 or 2 days over Xmas period there will not be any performances.