Review: Cinderella, Buxton Opera House

From curtain-up the excited children at this year’s Buxton Opera House pantomime were cheering and clapping – which is just as it should be.

Philip Dart is now an old hand at the adaptation of Cinderella and his 2019 version has all the usual ingredients – gags, glitter, music and magic.

The children loved the tomfoolery and we adults could titter away at the cheesy one-liners – it’s the perfect family show. 

Serving up the hilarious comedy capers in their outrageously grotesque costumes were James Holmes as Ugly Sister Ivana and Jamie Barwood as the equally vulgar sibling Melania. The beastly, bullying duo deserved every boo the exuberant young audience could throw at them.

The lovely Shannon Flynn couldn’t have been better cast for the part of Cinderella  and her Prince Charming played by Ryan Bennett was suitably handsome and gave a strong performance.

However, Ugly Sisters aside, the stars of the show in my book were the very talented ensemble and their choreographer Tracey Iliffe. Polished and slick is an understatement. The programme suggests there are four such teams lined up for the season’s duration and I bet they are all equally as good.

As we all know pantomime is all about the children and if you want them to escape into a fantasy world for a couple of hours take them to see this wonderful family show – it is definitely one to which you can also take granny. You will all leave with a huge grin on your faces and a warm glow in your hearts.

The rest of the cast were Emily Juler as the Fairy Godmother, Ross Barbour as Buttons, Alasdair Baker, Baron Hardup, Connor Hignell, Dandini and Hannah Shackell as Becky and Miss Trotwell.

The musical director was Adam Gerber, lighting was by Ian Wilson and sound by Terry Saunders.

Cinderella can be seen at Buxton Opera House until January 1. For ticket information go to