The Millennium Forum received a sprinkling of magic dust last night as the age old fairy tale Cinderella came to life before our eyes.
Kids bouncing in their seats, screams of laughter, somersaults on the carpets… and that was before the show! You could touch the energy and excitement that was rapidly building.
Panto has been embedded within UK and Irish Christmas festivities for hundreds of years and that shows no signs of changing anytime soon. Cinderella is actually the most performed Panto this month and is considered to be the most magical fairytale of them all, and it’s easy to see why. Not bad for a tale that can be traced as far back as the year 860.
Featuring a fantastic cast, lavish costumes and beautiful set, Cinderella had the audience captivated throughout. Although it may traditionally be seen as more of a girly tale, this production succeeded in entertaining boys and girls, young and old. My sons, aged ten and six both agreed that it was the “best panto yet.”
William Caulfield as Buttons along with James Lecky and Keith Lynch as Kim and Kourtney Hardup aka the Ugly Sisters, kept the noise levels in the room at a maximum with boos and jeers, laughs and cheers. The broad Derry accents all girled up from the Ugly Sisters were hilarious, making the roles their own.
This production is the Forum’s sixteenth with Caulfield at the helm for the past eleven. His brilliant mix of family friendly comedy and wonderful performance had everyone just loving Buttons. Although there are no dame dresses this time for the Lurgan comic, he does get a chance to don a wig during his impressive Elvis performance.
The magic dust is sprinkled on the show by Orla Mullan who plays the lovable Fairy Godmother and Katheryn Rutherford returns to the Forum to take up the role as Cinderella while her Prince Charming is played by Mark Lamb who makes his theatre debut.
Not wanting to give too much away, I will say that the little princesses within audience will be blown away by the real carriage which takes to the stage during Cinderella’s incredible transformation scene.
Their little eyes will also light with joy when Cinderella and the cast mingle within the audience high fiving and hugging as they sing the closing number.
Yet again the in-house team at the Millennium Forum have produced another lavish and magical Christmas pantomime for all the family to enjoy and heads-up, tickets are selling fast with over 25,000 already being snapped up.
Cinderella runs until Saturday 31st December with ticket prices from £9.75