THEATRE | Cinderella at Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Cinderella: The Magical Family Pantomime, reviewed by Jhanvi Charkhawala

No matter how young or old, everyone knows the story of Cinderella.

Picture Cinderella living in a town called Willowfield. Her stepsisters are like those popular folks on social media who post about everything. Buttons, the guy who is head over heels for Cinderella and FYI also has a Facebook account, stays with Nurse Brenda, the lady who’s helped bring almost all the town’s babies into the world. But here’s the twist: there are not just fairy godmother but also fairy godfather. And, of course, Prince Charming is in disguise as Dandini, on a mission to find true love!

I have never laughed till my jaw hurts and still be in awe of something at the same time. Every few minutes there’s an amazing dance, a hilarious moment, or a super cool magic trick. Cinderella pantomime is a movie like experience in a theatre, and that’s pretty unusual!

The magical family pantomime by Robert Marsden is not just your typical show; it’s an immersive experience that will leave you with a gigantic grin. Get ready for classic panto fun, engaging comedy with the characters, and find yourself singing along to the tunes crafted by David Haller, Dean Parker, and Thom Gardner. It’s a must-watch that promises joy from start to finish!

Adam Stafford, celebrating 50 years of acting, shines as Halifax’s favourite dame, Nurse Brenda, bringing guaranteed laughter every time he graces the stage. Nathan Morris as Buttons steals the show with his hilarious and endearing performance, making him a friend everyone craves.

Emma Kirk, portraying Cinderella, captivates the audience with her great acting skills, amazing singing, and a stage presence that owns the theatre like her playground. Kieran Morris, returning as Prince Charming, adds to the delight with his charming performance that is a visual treat.

Siobhan Diffin and Tasha Shanade, the woke and cringey stepsisters Whitney and Britney, deliver a good laugh with their entertaining stage presence. 

However, the most unique characters are The Conjurors, Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb, who portray King Julian and Queen Juniper, or rather, the fairy godparents. Their magical performances create awe-inspiring moments. And boy do they create magic on stage!

The audience involvement is not limited to traditional responses but extends to participation in the magical acts, making the experience truly immersive. From massive, unpredictable props to a never-before-seen take on Cinderella, this production transports everyone into a world of magic, laughter, and childhood nostalgia.

Cinderella: The Magical Family Pantomime is like a film experience in a theatre, a rare treat that combines the best of both worlds. If you’re looking for a heartwarming and entertaining experience this Christmas, make your way to the Victoria Theatre Halifax from December 16th, 2023, to January 6th, 2024. Get ready to laugh, be enchanted, and rediscover the joy of being a child again.