'Stephen and Sid light up the Hawth with the perfect panto'


'Stephen Mulhern and Sid Sloane lit up the Hawth in one of the slickest and best pantos you will see.' Read the County Times' review of Stephen in Cinderella.

Producers Paul Hendy and Emily Wood have put on a wonderful production of Cinderella which is pitch perfect in every way.

Britain’s Got Talent’s Mulhern and CBeebies’ Sid Sloane are the headline stars but they are not the only ones to shine on the Hawth stage this winter.

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella and it’s the Fairy Godmother (Julie Coombe, sound just like Mrs Hughes from Downton Abbey) who sets the scene as she flies across the stage.

Prince Charming (Stephen John Davis) is looking for someone to marry, he swaps role with his servant Dandini (Sloane) in a bid to find his true love. He bumps into Cinderella (Catherine Hayworth), daughter of Baron Hardup (Ieuan Rhys) and falls in love. But Buttons (Mulhern) loves Cinders and her horrible Ugly Sisters (director Ian Smith and Michael Batchelor) do everything to stop the Prince and Cinders getting married.

But the story is not important as with every panto - it’s the laughs, the outrageous outfits, topical jokes and songs that matter. And there are plenty of them here.

The Ugly Stepsisters Beatrice and Eugenie (the best panto Dames I have seen) turn up in every scene with outfits that Lady Gaga wouldn’t contemplate wearing (the McDonalds ones were a particular highlight) and they get more horrendous every time.

Topical jokes include mentions for Downton Abbey, Britain’s Got Talent and my particular favourite - phone hacking.

One of the best moments was a scene at the Gypsy Fair when Mulhern and Sloane manage a whole conversation using board game puns.

Clever and witty.

I have endured pantos where not everyone can sing but I must say everyone hit the right notes in this one, especially Stephen John Davis as Prince Charming. His rendition of Michael Buble’s Feeling Good was excellent.

And it’s always nice to here a couple of Hairspray songs (Nicest Kids in Town and I Can Hear the Bells).

Mulhern had great banter with the audience and even treated them to a bit of magic (he was the youngest member to join the Magic Circle). There is also a show-stopping moment just before the interval that will have any kid staring in wonder. And there’s a nice little treat for anyone sitting in the front 20 rows.

Cinderella at the Hawth is worth seeing - slick, funny, incredible sets and wonderful songs. Don’s miss it.

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