York Grand Opera House – until 5 January 2019
Reviewed by Marcus Richardson
Cinderella is known as ‘the greatest panto of them all’ is a story we all know, and the York Grand Opera house has chosen it for this years pantomime. This is my third year reviewing the YGOH panto and it also happens to be done by Three Bears Productions, each year we are given a family friendly panto with an all singing all dancing cast alongside humour to make the adults laugh.
This year has topped the other panto York Grand Opera House held in the previous years; With a solid cast and dame that seems to get cheekier and cheekier, Steve Wickenden has me in stitches from laughing at the adult humour put in the play. Wickenden played one of the ugly step-sisters called Calpol, normally there would be Ken Morley as the other sister however due to illness there was only one sister in the show, I was disappointed as Ken has been a staple for the panto for the time I’ve reviewed and I wish him a recovery so he can continue to make the audience laugh. The cast has a few celebrities in its ranks, with Michelle Heaton from Liberty X as the Fairy Godmother and Channel 5’s Milkshake Amy Thomson. The character of Buttons played by Martin Daniels gave a lot of energy to the play and made sure the kids were all entertained, he did a great job of making sure the kids were awake and taking part in the panto. The whole cast worked together really well to compensate for not having one ugly sister and the show felt like nothing was missing.
The set was just what you would expect from a pantomime; camp, crazy and glittery, with the magic of Martin Daniels throughout the show we were surprised and with a hilarious rendition of the 12 days of Christmas, which included a bra that was made for 3. Just as Cinderella is going to the ball we see her ride off in a lifelike horse that can actually trot along a beautiful light up pumpkin wagon, a moment to truly remind us of the magic of theatre and Christmas. Now no panto this year would be complete without a rendition of Baby Shark, and the audience got to sing along at the end of the show.
The York Grand Opera House panto get better year after year, as does its Dame. I was laughing and so was the audience, if you have kids bring them to this panto as I’m sure they will love every second, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the tongue-in-cheek comedy that is hidden from the kids.