And this year’s traditionally-told offering at the Opera House upholds that reputation with ease.
The dazzlingly beautiful set instantly whisks you off to Eccles-On-Ice… Yes, that’s right; with Olympic ice dance legends Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean the star bookings, there had to be some kind of reason for their involvement – even in Pantoland.
While Fairy Godparents Torvill and Dean do add a certain magic to the proceedings, it’s clear they’re not natural actors, and their appearances are somewhat stilted – introduced with poor Cinders’ weird exclamations over an ‘exciting chill in the air’.
But the duo’s final performance, a version of their classic Bolero routine complete with aerial silks, makes any awkwardness worthwhile.
Add to that the delightful pairing of Eloise Davies and Liam Doyle as Cinders and Prince Charming, the dastardly Ugly Sisters (David Lynn and Tim Hudson) and Andre Vincent as an ever-cheery Buttons, and you’ve got a spellbinding night. Samuel Holmes is fantastic as Dandini, plays to his skills as a superb singer and comic actor, it’s just a shame there’s not more to the role.
The whole show is so slick and brilliantly put together, with more magic than you can shake a wand at – Cinderella’s ballgown transformation scene would surely melt even the coldest of hearts.
Until January 3.