It’s that time of year again the Christmas pantomime  time and once again the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch  have a magical show for all the family.  A timeless classic with a fresh angle on it loaded with fun and jokes all the way through, written by Andrew Pollard.

The fairytale of rags to riches tells the story of Ella, left in the care of her wicked step mother Baroness Hardup, following her fathers passing.  She is left to do all the jobs in the house and finds herself resembling a slave rather than a daughter.  The step mother has 2 daughters who also join in with the cruelty.  While collecting wood in the forest Ella meets the prince charming and straight away they both fall in love.  However she soon leaves without giving the prince even her name.  The prince feels he will never see her again and throws a special ball in the hope his one true love will attend and marry to live happily ever after in the kingdom of Hornchurch.  Ella forbidden to go to the royal ball because her step mother is hoping the prince will fall in love with one of her awful daughters.  The story is narrated by Ella’s Fairy Godmother (Etisyai Phillip) who delivers some sparkling moments throughout.

Baroness Hardup played by Georgina Field, was incredible, she fired up the audience to immediately get there backs up with her wickedness.  Just the sound of her voice was enough to set the tone for this nasty character.  However this is a family pantomime and fun is a guarantee  ensuring  almost as soon as your angry with the way she treats poor Ella, something happens to make you chuckle away.

The production has a modern spin on it with the carefully selected top pop songs to have you singing in your seats  including prince charming singing a Buble smash hit to  announce he hadn’t met her yet!

Natasha Lewis with a wealth of experience ranging from being a soloist soprano singer to appearing in Eastenders.  She plays the character of Cinderella.  She is jolly and vibrant and fills the stage with her energy.  Prince charming played by Jamie Noar who was also recently in a previous production at the Queens, Made in Dagenham, was every bit as charismatic as his title might suggest.

An exciting twist to the story is when Dandini, the Italian immigrant forms part of the adapted story, he brills fun and laughter instantly to the show.  He was magnificent on his own but when he pairs up with buttons for a sing off I really enjoyed it.

Top characters Mylie and Kylie, the ugly step sisters, dressed to impress with their flamboyance with big personalities.  Laugh a minute with those two and adding to the  fun that they should be played by male actors, Carl Patrick (Kylie) and Simon Pontin (Miley).  They were without a doubt the funniest duo you could imagine, their characters bounced off each other to have you in stitches.

There were 30 children on stage from the Young Company adding their magic to the fairytale.

The costumes were magical bringing the sparkle to the set, no expense spared all was beautiful and glittering.  The costumes  were stunning, look out for Cinderella’s shoes.

The production has everything  a great cast, beautiful songs, funny jokes and lots of opportunity for audience participation.  This is a real Christmas Cracker you wont want it to end.

For more information call the box office 01708 443333

by Annette

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