PANTO REVIEW: Cinderella at the Orchard

HAVING spent years going to pantomimes at The Orchard in Dartford at Christmas time I was thoroughly looking forward to this year's addition.

I decided to take my mum as a surprise and she was very curious to find out what her magical evening had in store.

As we arrived at the familiar family venue on the dark rainy evening we both got excited about seeing this year's version of Cinderella with an all star cast including Bradley Walsh as Buttons, West End actress Louise English as the Fairy Godmotherand Barry Hester as Dandini.

Walsh swung in on a rope a few minutes into the production and the crowd really came alive as The Chase star got into his role as Cinderella's best friend.

The kids and adults alike were off their seats when the curtain came up to when it fell at the end.

The show was full of big songs and dance routines and some questionable innuendo which left me thinking it was not really appropriate for the little ones.

Hannah Grover and Chris Warner Drake made a handsome couple as Cinderella and the Prince for the show.

Dragged-up Dames Ben Stock and Nathan Kiley made a wonderfully silly double act as Cinders’ evil Ugly Sisters, with bags of energy, gags and a fantastic array of dazzling costumes.

From their arrival in the village, the gruesome twosome firmly established themselves as the villains the crowd loved to hate with some deliciously spiteful one-liners and bating of the crowd.

Walsh kept the crowd entertained with lots of gags and one liners including dowsing half the audience with water pistols.

Everything about the show was fresh and the scenery brilliant for the story including a real horse called Sheriff who brought lots of 'aws' from everyone in the crowd.

All in all a great show.

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