Review: Queen’s Theatre pantomime

Cinderella runs at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple until January 3. Picture: Andy Robinson

Cinderella runs at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple until January 3. Picture: Andy Robinson - Credit: Archant

Andy Keeble enjoys an afternoon out with Cinderella and North Devon Theatres

Cinderella runs at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple until January 3. Picture: Andy Robinson

Cinderella runs at the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple until January 3. Picture: Andy Robinson - Credit: Archant

There’s nothing like a panto trip to crank up the Christmas excitement levels, writes Andy Keeble...

If the kids were hovering on Defcon four when we took them to see Cinderella at the Queen’s Theatre on Saturday afternoon, by teatime we’d definitely moved up to level five.

North Devon Theatres is a Jedi master when it comes to panto and this year it has joined forces with Imagine Theatre to deliver another fast-paced riot of colour, laughs and magic – with a few added intergalactic treats.

From the moment the curtain rises, you’d better be prepared to buckle up for the ride as the action arrives thick and fast.

The much-loved tale is well-told with plenty of laughs, song and dance, and with the help of beautifully drawn sets.

Ugly step sisters Flatula and Verucca (Ian Hallard and Matthew Baldwin) give a blend of villainous slapstick – with just enough menace for young audiences. It’s occasionally – and wonderfully – borderline sinister in the very best traditions of the panto baddies we love to hate.

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When there are baddies, there are goodies and it is well balanced by Buttons (Kevin James).

Kevin, who many will remember as Silly Simon in last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk, returns to deliver another warm dose of fun and audience interaction that’s as polished as his, er, buttons.

It’s all good fun and in a digital age, it was great to see a full house enjoying the magic only live theatre can produce.

Cinderella is at the Queen’s Theatre until Sunday, January 3. For tickets call 01271 324242 or visit www.northdevontheatres.org.uk

* Tickets for the Queen’s Theatre pantomime are selling out fast.

North Devon Theatres reports more than three quarters of tickets were sold during opening week.

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