In Fine Time Fontayne and Richard J Fletcher, the splendidly refurbished Coliseum is blessed with two of the finest festive frolickers on the panto scene - and they seem to get more exuberant every year.
Liz Carney (Dandini), Paul David-Gough (Salmonella Hardup) and Leigh Symonds (Rubella Hardup) in Cinderella at Oldham Coliseum Theatre Photo: Andrew Billington
Fontayne, recently gaining such acclaim for his stunning performance in a touring version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, slips effortlessly back into the outrageous frocks of the dame, Baroness Bunty Hardup, to delight the audience. Fletcher, seemingly born to play Buttons, does his usual slick impression of human catastrophe, slithering and sliding through a deluge of ice cream in one tremendous set piece, to come bouncing back perkier and cheekier than ever.
Take two menacing ugly sisters, Salmonella and Rubella, who could be twins as played by Paul David-Gough and Leigh Symonds, and lovely young songstress Lisa Holliman as the mistreated Cinderella and all the usual problems are bound to ensue when Justine Elizabeth Bailey’s dashing Prince Charming hits town.
Fortunately, Liz Carney is on hand as ever to wave the Fairy Godmother’s wand, getting Cinderella fixed up sartorially and matrimonially.
Add a large troupe of young dancers, beautifully choreographed by Beverley Edmunds, and a wealth of catchy tunes and you’ve got wholesome traditional panto at its compelling best to unite the generations in right good mirth.