This Cinderella is a sparkling family treat

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Cinderella, Preston Musical Comedy Society

Preston Playhouse

Written and directed by Mark Howard, one of the society’s own members, this lovely, traditional family pantomime brought laughter to everyone on a grim (weatherwise) Sunday afternoon.

Children outnumbered the grown-ups as the various Rainbows, Brownies and Guides trooped into their seats.

Dave, Tony and Chris provide the enjoyable live music joining in the cheerful banter from the stage as required.

Julie Oldfield is a lovable comedic Fairy Godmother opening the show with a wave of her magic wand, dressed in a flurry of white.

Matthew Williams gives an endearing portrayal as Buttons who quickly gets the audience on his side encouraging them to shout greetings whenever he appears.

Eddie Regan makes a fine, good-natured Baron Hardup.

How on earth does he live with the menacing Baroness (Anne Arkwright) and her two spoilt daughters, Asphixia and Grizelda (Mark Kendal and David Parry) when the three of them never miss an opportunity to mistreat his own poor daughter?

Olivia Currie fits the bill perfectly in the eponymous role as every Cinderella since time began has to be pretty with a sweet singing voice.

Prince Charming (Peter Abbot) is her perfect partner who finds his true love in the end with a little help from Dandini (Michael Phelan).

As well as the original and innovative script (there was a spider instead of a ghost in the forest scene!) this is a thoroughly enjoyable productiowith amusing choreography, beautiful sets and sumptuous costumes.

The transformation scene at the end of Act One, when Cinderella changes clothes from rags to a ball-gown, is ingenious (try to see how it’s done!) and the sparkling coach is so beautiful!

From the first sparkle of the fairy’s wand to the dazzling final walk-down in a riot of blue, white and silver this is a radiant show!

Jenny Robson