Review / Gallery: Cinderella, Enchanted Entertainment, Ipswich Regent, to January 3

Gabrielle Green as Cinderella in Enchanted Entertainment's pantomime Cinderella at the Ipswich Regen

Gabrielle Green as Cinderella in Enchanted Entertainment's pantomime Cinderella at the Ipswich Regent to January 3. Photograph: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

You’d better get your tickets to the ball now, once word spreads how good this show is they’re going to vanish quicker than Cinders’ carriage come midnight.

Mike McClean as Buttons in Enchanted Entertainment's pantomime Cinderella at the Ipswich Regent to J

Mike McClean as Buttons in Enchanted Entertainment's pantomime Cinderella at the Ipswich Regent to January 3. Photograph: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

It was lovely to see the theatre so full for the first show, with the sea of youngsters and their parents raring to join in the festive fun from the moment Maureen Nolan’s Fairy Godmother appeared on stage.

This is definitely my favourite Enchanted Entertainment panto so far. Every element clicked - the cast, the musical numbers, the costumes, the set...

Storywise, it’s your traditional tale of how poor Cinderella (CBBC star Gabrielle Green) meets her Prince Charming (Steps’ Lee Latchford-Evans), helped and sometimes hindered by her dad Baron Hardup (CITV star Nick Wymer), her spiteful step-sisters Elsa and Anna (Miles Western and director David Phipps-Davis), put-upon man-servant Dandini (Ben Rowland), butler Buttons (Mike McClean) and her Fairy Godmother.

It’s really, really funny; lots of wordplay, slapstick and musical jokes - listen to the tune playing whenever Latchford-Evans walks on stage. There are plenty of silly bits for the youngsters and lots of adult gags, most of the latter from McClean; the best Buttons I’ve seen.

David Phipps-Davis as Ugly Sister Anna in Enchanted Entertainment's Cinderella at the Regent in Ipsw

David Phipps-Davis as Ugly Sister Anna in Enchanted Entertainment's Cinderella at the Regent in Ipswich. Photograph: Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

His stand-up comic background showed, making sure the energy never dropped as he worked the audience - including poor April on the front row and later some young members of the audience - perfectly. As he reminded us several times, he’s back at the Regent in the New Year with his comedy show.

Full of topical jokes, digs at Ipswich Town and Norwich as a whole; the Twelve Days of Christmas number involving Latchford-Evans, McClean and Wymer was hilarious. Good luck doing that twice a day. The twist on the traditional ghost scene - poor April again - had people roaring with laughter.

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Parents thinking they’d escaped Frozen can think again. Let It Go - which I believe has replaced the national anthem of many countries - featured, as did a funny version of Do You Want to Build a Snowman. The transformation of Cinders was spectacular, to say anymore would spoil it.

It was great to see so many people up on their feet at the end and definitely in the mood for dancing. Fantastic family fun.

Read my chat with cast members Latchford-Evans, Green, McClean, Wymer, Nolan and Rowland here.

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