Just when it seemed that it could get no bigger or glitzier, the Grand Opera House has upped the ante on a Cinderella, which is all about glitter and sparkle and good old fashioned fun rather than the squalid business of sweeping floors and taking out the rubbish. The whole thing looks spectacular. The curtain rises on an enchanting, ballet-inspired winter wonderland, while Act I draws to a close with the fantastic image of a winged horse, flying high above the clouds, transporting a radiant Cinderella to the Prince’s ball.
From the moment that May McFettridge appears, perched queasily on a crescent moon, it is clear who is in charge. This year, however, she is in abnormally sweet-voiced, mild-mannered Fairy Godmother mode, leaving the hideous frocks and outrageous behaviour to the two uglies - Tulisa (Ciaran Nolan) and Jessie (Paddy Jenkins). Other performance plaudits are shared between Aidan O’Neill’s endearing Buttons, Conleth Kane’s deliciously camp Dandini and the adorable Basil Brush, wise-cracking naughtily as Baron Basil Hardup. And Mark Adamson and Jayne Wisener are rewarded for their efforts in the thankless goody roles of Prince Charming and Cinderella with a genuinely funny, three-way musical slapstick routine (with O’Neill) to round off the box ticking.