35,000 people watch Russell Grant and co at Waterside panto

The cast of Cinderella at the Waterside Theatre
The cast of Cinderella at the Waterside Theatre

With glittering costumes, adorable little white ponies, popular songs and side splitting fun, this year’s pantomime at the Waterside was the most popular to date.

Cinderella, starring Suzanne Shaw and Russell Grant, ran for 39 shows and brought in more people than any other panto since the theatre opened in 2010.

It also attracted lots of positive feedback on social media and directly to the theatre.

Spokeswoman Alison Trimming said: “We had over 35,000 people through the doors and we are all very happy with the way it has gone.

“Many younger members of the audience came dressed as princes and princesses, and in dresses from the Disney film Frozen, so they particularly enjoyed the songs in the pantomime that came from the film.”

Group bookings of more than 10 people achieved excellent numbers this year, with 367 individual groups (which would include school groups, Brownies and Scouts) enjoying the show.

The two little white ponies who appeared in the transformation scene taking Cinderella, played by Holly Brewer, to the ball, behaved impeccably and there was not a single accident on stage or off.

During the run of the show the ponies, who are from Reading, stayed in Totternhoe, and on days when they had two perfomances they were walked around the outside of the building for exercise.

The role of Prince Charming, played by Andrew Derbyshire, was taken by Mark Read from boy band A1 for the final two performances on Sunday as Andrew was contracted to appear elsewhere.

Famous faces who came to see the panto included Tess Daly, Vernon Kaye, Phil Tufnell , Kerry Katona and on Saturday afternoon last year’s panto baddie Anita Dobson visited with her husband Queen guitarist Brian May.

The next pantomime serving will be Dick Whittington.