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Cinderella - The Fairy Godmother of All Panto’s at the GOH

There is nothing as magical & festive as visiting the GOH each year to see their annual Pantomime offering. It is such a family affair and tradition for tens of thousands of families from across the province and further afield. We were invited along; boy we were in for such a treat.

There have been so many interpretations of Cinderella, be it Panto’s books, Disney films etc. we are all familiar with the story and this telling doesn't veer far from the tale we are familiar with.

Of course, top of the bill was none other than May McFettridge herself, Fairy May this time around owned the stage in her bright, bold, glitterball themed outfits. Everyone's favourite dame has been a fixture at the GOH now for more than 30 years and is showing no time of hanging up her brassier as she is already scheduled to perform in next year's Panto, and we are delighted.

She is on hand this year to help make Cinderella’s dreams come true, of course no member of the audience was safe from May, ever the queen of innuendo and tongue in cheek humor, having the audience in chuckles of laughter, kids and adults alike.

Making a return this year were Paddy Jenkins as Baron Hardup, this is Paddy’s 10th Panto in the GOH showing that he is a loved favourite , he has great comic timing and was a joy to catch.

Adam C Booth also returns this year as Buttons, I honestly don’t know where he gets his energy and charisma from, the kids just loved him jumping about the stage.

Taking on the title character of Cinderella is Kia-Paris Walcott, audience will already know Kia as last year she graced the stage as Goldilocks along I must admit with her dark hair this year it did take me a minute to realise it was the same person. Kia is a recent graduate from D&B Academy of Performing Arts, she had such a beautiful voice and great stage presence, we see great things in her future

There can’t be a Cinderella without her two “Gorgeous” Stepsisters, Vindicta and Manipulata aka Jo Donnelly and Jolene O’Hara, I loved the personal local touches they brought to the characters, Millies through and through, there songs and OTT dancing has us in a wrinkle, I loved their scenes and could have done with a few more. Bravo

Next up is Conor Headley who brought Prince charming to life, I know Conor personally having worked together many moons ago with MADS (A local amateur dramatics society in Craigavon) Conor also a recent graduate of Trinity Laban is one to watch with a prosperous future ahead of him. He played the character with great ease, looking super comfortable on stage.

Rounding up the cast is another familiar face, Gyasi Sheppy, who played Dandini the prince's right-hand man. I must say he was great, bringing such enthusiasm to the character, in my opinion he didn't get enough stage time though when he was on, he owned the stage

From start to finish the show was full of high energy, my hat goes off to the ensemble, their dancing was impeccable, the scenes that involved them really lifted the show, all 8 were super talented, you will love watching them.

My Personal highlights were:

- The scene on the wall between Cinderella, Prince Charming and Buttons, I found it so funny, it genuinely had me laughing out loud.

- The impressive flying Coach and Horses, what a spectacle, I have no idea how they flew out over the audience, it had all the kids in awe.

- And lastly, I must mention the sound, lighting and choice of music/songs, I cannot fault a thing, all added to the atmosphere and experience.

All in all, an enjoyable family experience from start to finish but I would expect nothing less from the annual Grand Opera House pantomime. You can get your tickets from the show runs until 15th January 2023.


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