12 December 2015 to 10 January 2016
Reviewed by Claire Turner
Well what can I say and this year’s panto, Cinderella, at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend?
Perfect! The best panto ever! Full of laughs from start to finish!
The Cliffs Pavilion is a great venue, easy to get to and after 6pm you can park on the seafront for free (you must then climb a lot of steps but it’s doable for the able-bodied) we collected our tickets and program from the box office and made our way to our seats – in the stalls. We sat down and immediately noticed the seating was different – they had an orchestra!! There hasn’t been one for a panto in Southend for a good few years.
The show starts with a ‘bang’ as Lesley Joseph appears as The Fairy Godmother and it isn’t long before Brian Conley is on stage, as Buttons. They are great together on stage and some parts feel as though they’re not scripted which is brilliant. There are songs from the start, everyone could join in – the children and the grown-ups! The jokes are hilarious – they had us crying with laughter! The Ugly Sisters (David Robbins and Martin Ramsdin) are perfect and their costumes over the top, they changed constantly, each outfit bigger and brighter than the last! There is magic, comedy, real Shetland ponies, a competition to win a TV and so much more………….
The orchestra did a wonderful job, Cinderella (played by Lauren Hall) has a sense of humour, the dancing and singing by all the cast was brilliant and the parts where Buttons couldn’t stop laughing and couldn’t sing were fantastic. When Lesley Joseph came out on stage as ‘Dorien’ for me that was the funniest part – all the memories of Birds of a Feather came flooding back. Whilst a lot of the jokes didn’t a mean a thing to the children you could tell they were having a great time and there were sing-a-longs for them to join in with.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you get the jokes or not, a panto is where you need to be to get yourself in the Christmas spirit. Cinderella at the Cliffs Pavilion is the place to be – laugh with the Essex jokes, cry with the laughter and have a great time. It’s a 5 star panto and the best yet (until next year ………….).
Tickets cost from £22.50 to £35.50 (booking fees may apply).
Cinderella is at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend until 10 January 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01702 351135.
Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7RA | 01702 351135