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Children's shows - reviews, Pantomimes

Cinderella

Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes
7pm, 13 December 2017

Cinderella at Milton Keynes Theatre might be the Brian Conley show but who cares? His Buttons is just flipping hilarious.

What could be better than watching your young daughter laughing out loud all the way through – mainly at everything he says or does. Or finding that tears of laughter are rolling down your husband’s face. Or finding your own cheeks are aching from smiling? She knows Conley from Strictly, we know him from the nineties, he is just a man with funny bones who appeals to all generations.

He’s also a complete all-rounder, a fabulous singing voice, superb comic timing whether it be full on jokes or one-liners. And while he may not have lasted that long in Strictly this year, he’s certainly got some moves, plus he doesn’t miss a chance to milk his appearance in the BBC dance competition, after all, as he acknowledges in the show, he won’t be able to do that next year!

Then there’s his relationship with the Fairy Gokmother, the TV stylist and fashionista Gok Wan. This is the third year they’ve worked together and it shows –  they completely gel as a team and their interaction is just wonderful.

And what could be more natural than Gok to transform Cinders from rags to riches – a role he takes on with sass, charm and sparkle – plus some singing no less!

The scenes that Conley isn’t in – which to be honest are few and far between – aren’t quite as bright but that’s not to say they aren’t good – it’s just that no one can really match the force of nature that is the comedian.

The villains of the peace/piece, the Ugly Sisters Tess and Claudia, portrayed by Ben Stock and Neal Wright hold their own and do so in ever more amazing and ever-changing costumes.

Lauren Hall is a sweet Cinderella, and Matthew Goodgame’s Prince Charming is charming. Their scenes together were as they should be.

There is also great singing and dancing, extravagant and colourful sets, spectacular effects, s as a flying coach, clever magic tricks and even a few suprises which I won’t spoil.

This is fantastic and truly uplifting afternoon or evening out – and probably the best panto I’ve seen in Milton Keynes since Bradley Walsh was in it! A real treat.

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