Cinderella, Sheffield City Hall
For many Sheffielders, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Manor Operatic panto and once again the amateurs give the professionals a run for their money.
The show combines all the traditional comic fun with loads of pizazz and some great effects. The finale of act one includes live white ponies on stage to pull Cinderella’s spectacular carriage as snow falls on stage and in the auditorium.
Many of the show’s stars are practised hands at pantomime acting, getting the audience to boo, hiss and shout at them.
Robert Spink gets a year off from playing the Dame and is Ugly Sister Margarita instead, alongside Gary Rossiter as Mojito. Emily McGreoch is good fun as their nasty mum.
The sisters play off each other well and have a great time in scenes like the one where they tell a story using the names of different packs and bottles of detergent.
Whatever goes wrong is all part of the quick-fire fun.
When Andy Collis’s orchestra make a swift exit from the front of stage, you know it’s time for the dough game, with the audience chucking raw pastry at the actors with glee.
James Smith makes a fantastic Buttons, showing off his skills as an impersonator and even a moonwalker, as well as a comic actor who can really get the youngsters to join in with him.
Emily Mae Hoyland brings sweetness and grace to the title role and Emma Holmes and Holly Parker Strawson are a proper, thigh-slapping Prince Charming and Dandini.
It is great to see the next generation doing so well, too. Little Evie May Bradford does a great job of her brief appearance as young Cinderella.