Cinderella at Bridlington Spa - the one you want to see
In the past few years Bridlington Spa has attracted politician Ann Widdicombe, ‘Allo ‘Allo star Arthur Bostram to headline its pantomime.
Last year it beamed in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Marina Sirtis to play the Good Fairy.
This year Didi Conn – Frenchy in the movie musical Grease – in her first pantomime takes up the sparkly wand as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.
She is like a flash of lightning – bright, shiny and crackles with good humour and cheerfulness – not to mention talent.
Conn is one of a myriad stars in the sparkling, shimmering, shiny production. She gets her own magic spell which includes the audience shouting: A womp bop a looma a womp bam boom.
Returning is John Lyons – David Jason’s sidekick George Toolan in a Touch of Frost. He, too, knows how to play and please the audience.
He takes the role of Baron Hardup, Cinders’ dad, and is game for a laugh and adept at the ad-libs and asides that make panto such a delight.
Holding the carefully choreographed chaos together is a new principal comedian – Troy Harris as Buttons. Watching a panto star born is something rare and special –Harris is so good he is going to give Bradford panto king Billy Pearce a run for his money in the not too distant future.
His chipper, confident, cheeky unrelentlessly cheerful banter and demeanour quickly made him the audience favourite.
Paul Winterford and Aaron Spendelow turned the ugly sisters Solange and Beyonce into a double act – they are awful but we love them.
The twinkle and charm comes from the principal boys and girls – Lucy Fernandes as Cinderella, Tristan Ward as Prince Charming and Byron Witchell as Dandini.
Youngsters from Bridlington’s Collette Tyler School perform dazzling dance routines and play villagers and courtiers.
The panto is steeped in the world of musical hall and variety – with slapstick and all the expected routines including Twelve Days of Christmas and a comedy Hopelessly Devoted to You.
There is one Brexit gag and it comes from Ugly Sister Solange. “I call this my Brexit bra because it takes forever to get out of it.”
There is plenty of opportunity to hiss, boo and shout “It’s behind you” and “Oh no, it isn’t.”
The score is jammed full of pop standards, ballads and musical theatre opening with Blur’s In the Country and including Elton John’s Your Song, Queen’s Find Me Somebody to Love and Once Upon A Time from the musical Brooklyn.
But the biggest hits were from Grease – in honour of Conn, obviously. The audience got to enjoy Grease Lightning and then join in with it.
The curtain came down and the audience was brought to its feet with Grease is the Word.
Cinderella is a perfect match of star quality and content – an audience pleaser of the highest quality.
The sets and costumes have razzle-dazzle and plenty of glitz and glamour.
The entrance of the coach pulled by two horses was breathtakingly beautiful.
The Bridlington Spa panto has it all – stars, shimmer, shine, hit songs, fancy foot work, great performances and quality sets and costumes.
It is truly magical.
Cinderella runs at Bridlington Spa until Sunday January 5.
Tickets: 02162 678258 or on line at https://www.bridspa.com