Cinderella – Review – Halifax Victoria Theatre
By Alex Crabtree, December 2023
Christmas is edging closer, isn’t it? And of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the panto!
For the third consecutive year, I found myself enjoying the Victoria Theatre, Halifax pantomime. And, let me tell you, they’ve done it again! Each year has been a joy, but this time, the laughs echoed louder, and the magic soared higher. Halifax has truly raised the bar with its fantastic version of Cinderella.
Accompanied by my daughter Meghan, aged 11, we were about to have an absolute rollercoaster of joy.
We got in quite early, and I noticed immediately that the set design looked very impressive. As the show began, with each bit of scenery the attention to detail was impeccable, surpassing previous years that may have leaned towards a more cartoonish aesthetic. It was a vibrant stage, breathing life into this enchanted world of Cinderella – and it set us up for a very good show.
We all know the story. She did go to the ball, she lost her glass slipper (crystal slipper in this version), then her Prince Charming finds it and finds her. But there’s always fun and frolics along the way, and the audience, young and old, certainly enjoyed all that.
Laughter echoed through the theatre, with jokes tailored for both the little ones and the grown-ups. As a parent, it was amusing to witness Meghan’s evolving sense of humour – a mix of laughter and tweenage embarrassment at the cheeky innuendos that she’s now beginning to fully grasp!
“Spectacle of magic and illusion”
The cast was stellar too, with Emma Kirk radiating charm as Cinderella. The not insta-ready ugly sisters Whitney and Britney, played by Siobhan Diffin and Tasha Shanade, were a riot, delivering laughs aplenty. Adam Stafford as Nurse Brenda Brighouse had the audience in stitches, and Nathan Morris shone brightly as the lovable Buttons.
Special mention goes to Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb, whose portrayal of King Julian and Queen Juniper added an extra layer of magic to the production. Finding out they’re heading to Las Vegas once the pantomime season is finished doesn’t surprise me at all. Thanks to them, the production this year wasn’t just a pantomime; it was an unexpected spectacle of magic and illusion. They dazzled me, and the rest of the audience, bringing an extra layer of wonder to the classic tale.
I’ll leave you to see the wonder of Cinderella’s dress for yourself.
The interactive elements were, as expected, a riot. While we escaped unscathed from the water assault this year (a first!), the slapstick comedy and delightful shenanigans kept us in stitches. It’s all part of the Halifax panto experience – a perfect blend of tradition and innovation.
And then we had a flying horse and carriage – another touch of pure magic, making this a visual feast. The creativity behind it was nothing short of extraordinary.
“A festive celebration”
What sets the Halifax panto apart is its local charm. The script is brilliantly written, the direction is spot-on, and the performances are top-notch. There’s a sense of community spirit, making the audience feel like active participants rather than mere spectators. Halifax doesn’t just stage a pantomime; it creates a festive celebration for everyone.
Once again, they nailed the pantomime experience, but this year’s production was a step above and it’s been a brilliant start to our family’s Christmas countdown. We loved Cinderella at the Victoria Theatre, and if given the chance, we’d gladly watch it again.
…Oh yes, we would!
‘Cinderella’ is at Victoria Theatre, Halifax until Saturday 6th January