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Our local Panto this year was Cinderella, and although I haven't been to the panto for years now, when my mum said her Women's Guild were booking tickets to go, me and my sisters jumped at the chance. Cinderella has been my favourite Disney Princess since I was little, and I especially wanted to go and see this show. We went to the panto on the 8th of January and although we were a little bit later going, it was still a full house.

The "Comic Lead" was a circus clown called Tweedy. He played a character called Buttons who was "only given his role just before the start of show as the actual comic lead fell ill". However, this was cleverly done as it meant whenever he walked on stage and shouted "What's my name?" the audience had to remind him of his characters name and reply "Buttons". Buttons was definitely my favourite character, even as an 18 year old girl, I found him absolutely hilarious. Ok so some of the stunts he pulled where he repeatedly did the same 'silly thing' again and again did become annoying even if they did entertain the younger audience members, but for the most part, the jokes he told and the stupid things he did were really funny. My favourite parts were actually when him and William Elliot - who played the Baroness aka Cinderella's mother - made a mistake or created an off-script joke (some of which even made them come out of character because of the hilarity of it). You could tell the actors had done the pantomime together in previous years because of how comfortable they were with improvising jokes whilst their characters were interacting.

I also liked how they included little bits about our town to make it seem as though the story was set in Cheltenham rather than a big city like London or Birmingham - For example the ugly step sisters said things such as "Lets go shopping up Montpellier" (the more expensive shopping area of Cheltenham) - it made the show seem more familiar and relatable and set the show in the present time rather than in the past. They also put there own twist on popular songs such as For the First Time in Forever from Frozen and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran which I think also helped make the panto more modern.

Towards the end of the show they got some of the kids up on stage and asked the whole audience to join in with one of their original songs "These are Talented Shoes" by singing along and copying their hand actions. I think this was a really nice touch to get the audience interacting with them one last time and it was something both children and adults could take part in.

The fun nature of the pantomime has definitely made me want to go next year as well, it makes you feel like a kid again and you aren't embarrassed to join in with the silly activities as everyone is joining in around you anyway. Visiting the theatre isn't something I get to do as often as I'd like because of the costly price of tickets, however whenever I do visit it always reminds me how much I enjoy going to see different shows.

Our local Pantomime has finished now, however, you can look into your local Christmas panto towards the end of the year - it's definitely worth your time and money and it's a great way to enjoy the Christmas or new year spirit with your loved ones.

"Madness, mayhem, laughing till your tummy hurts, that's what's best about Pantomime"

Until Next Time,

Alice x

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