Casting local pantomime favourites on an annual basis is proving both fashionable and good for the box office and Sheffield’s golden boy is comedy actor Damian Williams. As the eternal gooseberry Buttons, Williams leads the comedy line admirably, especially in scenes featuring the excellent Kate Quinnell, who plays the eponymous heroine.
The costumes and Cinderella’s equine conveyance to the ball (a winged Pegasus no less) all possess the pantomime wow factor. An auditorium snowstorm, a comic and camp Cupid played by Tom Caley and the golden voice of G4 tenor Jonathan Ansell all adds fairy dust to this magical pantomime confection.
The impish Sue Devaney is a busy and winsome aerialist Fairy. With My Fair Lady next door at the Crucible Theatre, I could easily picture this skilled actress popping across the road to play Eliza Doolittle.
Hats off surely to the astonishingly OTT Ugly Sisters at the Lyceum, played complete with stunning make-up and the best of costumes by Michael J Batchelor and Ian Smith.
With Ben Faulks as a rather dim Dandini and David Westbrook as a sort of Moore Marriott-style Baron Hardup both twinkling in the background, this surely constitutes seasonal theatre fare which comes perilously close to pantomime perfection. Fun choreography by Aaron Francis and a band in the pit led by Andy Booth complete the happy Sheffield panto picture.