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The most fun you’ll have at a panto!

I felt quite bad reviewing last year’s panto at the Cresset. The show was good, don’t get me wrong, but I felt the song choices weren’t quite right for the demographic – catering more for an older audience. This year, they’ve got the tone just right!

Sat amongst a packed-out audience of enthusiastic children, I was swept into the magic of pantomime – grinning ear to ear the entire time.

You too are invited to the ball this Christmas as The Cresset and Premier Pantomimes present the most magical show of all – Cinderella!

The star cast includes audience favourite and panto veteran Ricky Groves (EastEnders) as Buttons providing the laughs, Mitch Hewer (Skins, Casualty) singing and dancing his heart out as handsome Prince Charming and Lily Shires ably stepping into the glass slippers as Cinderella, plus Peterborough’s favourite dame Zach Vanderfelt and best baddie ever Lawrence Stubbings as The Ugly Sisters.

Everyone on that stage gave their all. They looked like they were having a great time and it was contagious.

There was nothing here I hadn’t seen before, but I was more than OK with that. Christmas is all about tradition and therefore, a traditional panto was just what I wanted.

With water pistols, chase sequences in the audience and upbeat musical numbers – the way the audience enthusiastically responded with laughter and cheers, you’d think at times we were at Wembley Stadium.

There’s a 12 days of Christmas section that was brilliant fun, a play on the Apple Watch which Ricky executed perfectly and loads of messy slapstick the kids were lapping up.

My ESP Editor went along and commented on how good it was to see Lawrence Stubbings – usually the panto bad guy –  having such genune fun being an Ugly Sister and he carried it off perfectly.

Another improvement on last year was that there was just the right amount of audience participation.

Our vocals remained warmed-up throughout, without it ever going too over-the-top – so credit to Zach Vanderfelt and Lawrence Stubbings for perfecting that balance.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me whether I preferred The Key Theatre Panto or The Cresset. To be honest, and I’m not just saying this, they are equally as good for very different reasons.

I admire the fact that Beauty and the Beast (Key Theatre) write their own songs specifically for the show and that the actors even perform in the band, but I also love that Cinderella (Cresset) have songs that the audience will already be familiar with.

Cinderella was fantastic fun that the whole family will enjoy. You won’t want to miss going to this ball!

ESP Rating 4/5

Mikey Clarke

Book your tickets at or by calling 01733 265705.

Photos: Chris Brudenell

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