Wednesday 17 December 2014


Last weekend was my second visit to Pantoland, this time to see Cinderella at The Grange Theatre, Northwich by Anton Benson Productions.

As a family, one of our favourite tv programmes is watching 'The Chase' so we were very excited to see Anne Hegarty aka Frosty Knickers cast as the Evil Stepmother. She didn't disappoint and remained evil and dead-pan throughout her performance.

Dane Bowers, Pop sensation from Another Level fame and recently 5th Story from ITV's Big Reunion was a charming Prince. He sang one of the this year's popular love ballads showing off his talents. Personally, I was slightly giddy as I'd seen him on tour in October with the Big Reunion Boy Band Tour, I think I had the best seat in the house too!

Ugly Betty and Buttons had us laughing with their banter and their hilarious one-liners. Both are Grange Panto Regulars and a big hit with the audience. The chocolate scene was comedy genius and had us all participating and joining in.

Keeley Fitzgerald stole the show as Fairy Godmother, a very funny actress and a beautiful voice, hilarious to watch and lit up the stage, literally!

The songs were current and it's always a joy to hear children singing along to well known songs. Cinderella (Libby Gore) sang her heart out to Disney's Frozen. 'For the First time and forever' and was accompanied by all the girls in the audience.

A fantastic show with lots of laughs and a surprise visit from Father Christmas, great costumes and scenery and the usual panto sing song. It got a thumbs up from us all!

The Grange Theatre is showing Cinderella until 3rd January. Get your tickets by going to

Thursday 4 December 2014


As a regular visitor to the Regent, I was looking forward to seeing my first Pantomime in this beautiful theatre. Dick Whittington followed the traditional storyline but with a Stokie twist. It was full of one-liners, audience participation, fantastic singing, dancing and colourful costumes and scenery.

The build up to Dick Whittington's entrance was brilliant, and got the crowds hyped up for the very charismatic Jonathan Wilkes' bursting onto the stage. He is a real crowd pleaser and clearly proud of his roots and his links to Stoke, greeting the audience with 'Ay up me ducks'.

Christian Patterson, played one of the best Panto Dames I've seen 'Sarah the Cook'. The banter between Wilkes and Patterson was hilarious, whether scripted or not, it had the audience in stitches.

Alice Fitzwarren (Louise Dearman) danced and sang her way to Dick's heart and perfomed the very popular 'Let it Go' from Disney's Frozen. A real stand out performance and she made it seem effortless.

Alderman Fitzwarren (Simon Nehan) was the stuttering and dithery shopkeeper and brother of Alice, he was sent on a wild goose chase when his props were thrown into the audience and found their way into the gallery. It had us doubled over with laughter to see him running around the auditorium. Nehan doubled up as the Sultan at the end of the show.

King Rat was convincing as the panto baddy and had us 'hissing' and 'booing' but also impressed with his singing of Queen's 'I want it all'.

There were fight scenes, acrobatics and very well choreographed dancing and staging. Costumes were amazing especially, Sarah the Cook's.

There is something for all the family, smutty double entendres based around the Christian name of the lead character and slapstick comedy for the younger audience.

A laughter-filled show with my favourite part being my son, Luke joining Wilkes on stage to sing and dance for the obligatory sing-song.

The show runs until 4th January 2015.