We usually head to Winchester Theatre Royal’s annual pantomime, but being part of a larger group this year (and leaving the booking til the last minute), we struggled to find enough seats all together. After seeing which other pantos were around the local area, we decided upon Cinderella at Kings Theatre, Southsea.
Seated in the upper circle, we were looking down onto the stage with a reasonably good view. My son wasn’t so keen on this location, however, preferring to be a bit closer to the ground. I guess it feels even higher up when you’re small! It’s worth noting that with the Kings Theatre being a listed Edwardian building, there is no lift and a fair few steps to take you up to the circles, so the stalls are certainly better for less mobile audience members.
Southsea’s pantomime has its fair share of celebrity casting. Bringing the panto to the top of its game in the singing stakes, X Factor’s Jake Quickenden plays the perfect Prince Charming, while West End star Natasha Barnes is absolutely sensational as the Fairy Godmother, belting out vocals to put goosebumps on your goosebumps! The Prince’s cheeky sidekick, Dandini, is played brilliantly by Marcus Patrick (who hardly appears to have aged at all since I last saw him in Hollyoaks about 15 years ago), bringing so much energy and charisma to the stage.
Cinderella is one of the best-loved traditional pantomimes out there and Kings Theatre have done a wonderful job of staging this year’s magical festive treat, with stunning costumes, sets, and even a couple of beautiful white shetland ponies to get the audience ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’.
There’s something here for the whole family to enjoy; hilarious jokes and ad-libs, the obvious eye-candy, wonderful original songs as well as a few familiar covers, along with action songs and audience participation.
The obligatory silly song towards the end of the panto is perfectly polished pandemonium, with toilet rolls flying into the audience and actors stumbling into the staging, quite literally bringing down the house!
There’s still time to enjoy the Kings Theatre pantomime, Cinderella, which is on until 6 January 2019. Highly recommended by SO Mum and the rest of the family!