Reviewed by Tricia Shaw
It’s panto time again and we have come home buzzing from such a fantastic fun filled evening of non-stop entertainment. This year Milton Keynes panto is ‘Cinderella’ starring the very talented Brian Conley as Buttons, Gok Wan as the fairy Gokmother, Matthew Goodgame as Prince charming, Lauren Hall in the title role and the Ugly Sisters played by Ben Stock and Neal Wright.
Everyone knows the story of poor Cinderella working hard scrubbing the floor and looking after her ugly step-sisters who won’t let her go to the Prince’s ball. Then along comes her fairy godmother who magically transforms Cinderella’s dress and sends her off to the ball. She dances with the Prince, but midnight strikes and she flees, leaving behind one silver slipper. The Prince desperately searches for her as he wants to marry her. This production keeps to the traditional story, but Buttons is very much the main character.
Right from the off there is audience participation, singing and dancing. Brian Conley knows just how to get the audience going and with a good spattering of adult humour, which went happily over the children’s heads, mixed with a variety of slapstick and child humour it really is a laugh a minute. He and Gok Wan complement each other’s performances wonderfully.
The illusions and special effects throughout the show are stunning; the flying carriage taking Cinderella to the ball has to be one of the best bits. Other amazing antics included Charlie the horse who was a real hit with young and old alike. The backing dancers, especially the young ones were delightful.
The not so gorgeous Ugly Sisters are expected to have numerous outlandish outfits and you will not be disappointed; their dresses for the ball are by far the most memorable although all of their costumes are absolutely perfect.
No panto is complete without the appearance on stage of members of the audience; on this occasion both one lucky lady and 4 delightful children had the chance to sing with Buttons on stage.
The theatre foyer has been beautifully decorated for the festive season including a magnificent Christmas tree. The friendly staff are as welcoming as ever. Don’t forget to get your programme and other merchandise that are available in the foyer.
I highly recommend this fantastic production of Cinderella. My 9-year-old son and his friend were laughing throughout and at one point he turned to me and said “This is hilarious!”. He cannot wait to see it again next week on his school trip.
Tickets cost from £15.90 to £55.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Cinderella is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 9 December 2017 to 14 January 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ