Cinderella, surely the sweetest, most magical pantomime of them all, contains all the perfect fairy tale elements for Christmas.
And they were all there at the Wycombe Swan on press night - gorgeous sets, stunning sparkling costumes, a beautiful heroine (Sarah Vaughan)and handsome prince (Luke Kelly)plus a magical transformation scene at the end of the First Act as Cinderella prepares to go to the ball.
Linda Robson stars as the benevolent godmother Fairy Tracey and makes her entrance in a floating silvery gown flying high above the stage sitting on a sparkling moon. But her endearing appearance jars somewhat with the script she delivers in her opening scene.
Pantomime of course has always been full of double entendre, but I go to many and the script on several occasions seemed to cross a line for a family audience. And I was not alone in this opinion, as others shared it during the interval.
However, just like Brexit (which was unsurprisingly alluded to in the panto), the audience was divided on this matter and all opinions must be respected. Certainly, the cast was given a standing ovation at the end and there was laughter and applause throughout the evening.
Linda proved to be a compassionate fairy godmother intent on making Cinderella’s dreams come true.
Louie Spence shone as the prince’s servant, Dandini, swirling across the stage with abandon, often sharing scenes with the chorus which included talented little tots from the Jackie Palmer Stage School dressed in period wigs and knickerbockers.
Buttons, played by Bobby Davro (and also credited in the programme with having a hand in the script), reveals his unrequited love for Cinderella early on, rides a donkey, does a turn as Ozzy Osbourne and sings If I Ruled The World in a variety of styles (including an intentionally out of key Justin Bieber) that brings squeals of delight from the audience.
He is also part of the hectic routine ‘If I Was Not In Pantomime, This Is What I’d Be’ alongside Dandini and the gloriously over the top Ugly Sisters, Alesha (Alex Woodhall) and Amanda (Ben Stock).
Cinderella continues at the Wycombe Swan until Saturday December 31. Full details of all performance dates, times and ticket prices, and to book online, go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk or call the box office on 01494 512000.