To many, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a panto.  Jonny Wilkes is  back at Hanley’s Regent Theatre once again this year, for his 11th pantomime in his home city.  He plays the part of Buttons in Cinderella and he is joined by Christian Patterson.  They have a wonderful rapport and are clearly great friends.

Christian has written the script so the traditional Cinderella elements are interspersed  by jokes referencing  our local football teams Stoke City and Port Vale, and  our City of Culture bid 2021 comes under the spotlight too. We laughed throughout and the gags are written for every age group. We took along a 10 year old who loved the “water based ” scenes and laughed throughout the performance.

The sets are stunning, and the cast is a combination of established actors, local schoolchildren and a group of  talented youngsters from the Wilkes Academy.

Finley Guy is outstanding as the title role of Cinderella, her vocals are great. Welshman Simon Nehan who played Rihanna, an ugly sister, and the very camp and wonderfully funny Ian Stroughair who played the part of Dandini with ridiculous aplomb entertain throughout. In my opinion,  the outstanding performance of the entire night came from Ian Stroughair.

The songs and choreography kept the audience happy and provided some nice sing along moments for old and young. Cinderella’s Ball gown and the transformation of her to princess is stunning. The twelve days of Christmas action, memorable.

The show is packed full of audience participation and good wholesome family fun, lots of smiles, laughter and if you want to make sure you see it, I hope everyone is “behind you” in the ticket queue

Cinderella will run at The Regent Theatre until January 8. For tickets, call the box office on 0844 871 7649.


















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