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Warwick Arts Centre review: Cinderella

Cinderella, Warwick Arts Centre, to Jan 12.

Frankly, I wouldn't want to be a stray man in the audience when panto dames Halle Tosis and Derma Tosis go on the prowl at Warwick Arts Centre.

Members of Three Spires Guildhall pull out all the stops for this sparkly post-Christmas production. As well as evenings this panto has an extra couple of 10.30am and 2.30pm performances at the weekend with gags, good and bad, thrown in to suit all ages.

Of course Halle (Jon Andrews) and Derma (Max Goode) grab most of the laughs as the ugly sisters searching for a fella amongst the crowd. Nobody is safe - and on opening night it was Jim, from Coventry, who took one for the team. Hope he's rubbed his lipstick kisses off by now.

Cinderella is played by Kaitlin Berridge with a powerful voice and a great line in twirling from rags to gorgeous ballgown in the blink of an eye.

At that point a real-life if slightly bemused miniature pony is led onto the stage to lead her carriage to the ball.

But the Three Spires are all about singing and dancing, and so Kaitlin also has the most delightful "mice" providing the backdrop to her adventures in Hard-Up Hall.

My favourite, of course, Buttons (Ian Meikle), enlists the support of the children in the audience to help him express his feelings...and they certainly did that during the traditional "it's behind you" routine where I don't think I've ever heard youngsters screaming so loudly.

Personally I rather liked the days when the prince was played by a woman - but Connor Clemons certainly proves his worth in his duets with Cinderella while Claire Griggs as the fairy godmother really does glitter.

I was a bit unsure about some of the jokes - but for a post-festive pick-up, this looks like a winner for all the family.

For tickets call the box office on: 024 7652 4524.

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