Pantomime Review: Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal

Christmas and the festive season can really begin now we’ve been to see St Helens’ own Christmas Pantomime at the Theatre Royal. This year the production is Cinderella, which surely has to be the best of all pantos? The OG?

The finale of St Helens pantomime Cinderella with the whole cast dressed in gold with hands in the air

I’ve mentioned when reviewing previous year’s pantos how lucky we are to have the Regal Entertainments Ltd productions on our doorstep in St Helens and this year’s hotly anticipated Christmas family pantomime is no exception. What a cracking panto!

Something for the whole family – the jokes are brilliant for little ones, the story line is easy to follow for ages and the odd more grown-up joke would go over the tiny ones’ heads but are oh-so funny for the adults. I do wonder what age my kids will want to stop visiting the pantomime, but at 16 Violet isn’t wanting to stop yet. She belly laughed with the rest of us at our favourite Lewis Devine’s Buttons!

Who is starring in this year’s St Helens Pantomime?

This year’s Cinderella cast is an all-star one – The main attraction Jamie and Chuck, runner-up of this year’s Britains Got Talent. A local lad who has previously appeared in St Helens’ pantos but this year brought his best mate, puppet Chuck. even if you aren’t a BGT fan, you couldn’t help but warm to him – such a charming smile, perfect timing, great singing and fantastic acting. He looks like he is having the time of his life and you really get to see what an excellent ventriloquist act he is close-up!

Teenage boy holding a ventriloquist duck dummy

Another star is musician Jon Courtenay, winner of BGT in 2020 who was fantastic. His panto song was just as catchy as any of his performances on BGT and his comic timing and self-depreciation added something different to this production.

The ugly step-sisters, Borisina and Trussiana Hardup were just that – As rotten and ugly as they should be! Strong enough that the story didn’t even need a wicked stepmother – Their costumes were incredible (I believe that the actor playing Borisina, Richard Aucott makes many of his own costumes.) Cinderella is played by coronation street actor Kimberly Hart-Simpson who was a really strong Cinderella after swapping the cobbles of soap land for Joe Sleight’s Prince Charming. This year’s panto is a stellar cast that really look like they’ve gelled and are having a brilliant time in this glamorous production.

Speaking of incredible stunning costumes … just WOW! There’s never a shortage of bling at St Helens’ Theatre Royal but this year they surpassed themselves. The grand ball scene is a sight for the eyes and the speed of costume changes (and set changes for that matter) is super professional. 

Cinderella and Buttons surrounded by 8 female dancers looking like they are doing the conga

It wouldn’t be a panto without some singing and St Helens had it all. Special mention must go to the Fairy Godmother’s One Moment in Time, which is spine tingling – What an amazing singer. 

There’s some good old favourites during the performance that I hope St Helens Pantos never stop doing- The 12 days of Christmas with the Bra that is meant to hold 3, plenty of ‘Its behind you!’ and audience participation by getting wet will never not be hilarious. And lets not forget the real shetland ponies – Just too cute!

I don’t want to give too much away as the charm of this magical christmas panto has got to be the element of surprise. I do want to tell you to get down to St Helens Theatre Royal and getting booking for this most lavish pantomime NOW though. With a wave of a magic wand, a fair-tale carriage and a bit of magic, you too will be able to go to the glamorous ball!

St Helens Theatre Royal’s Christmas pantomime Cinderella is on in St Helens from Saturday 3rd December 2022 to 8 January 2022. Tickets can be bought by ringing the box office on 01744 756000 or visiting www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com. Ticket prices vary but start from £18.00 (+50p booking fee).

3 cast members leaning over looking alarmed

FAQs

Will Jamie and Chuck be appearing in every performance?

No, due to Jamie’s age (14) he is only able to do a limited number of performances and will be substituted by fellow local lads, Jensen Joseph Nolan and Jacob Sayor. You can check with the Box Office for full details before booking whether Jamie or a replacement will be appearing.

Is there parking at St. Helens Theatre Royal?

There is no parking on Corporation Street itself but nearby Birchley Street car park is a short 5 minutes walk away and is wheelchair accessible.

Does the Theatre Royal have wheelchair access?

Yes there is more than one wheelchair place available in the stalls – I believe there is a lift to the upstairs but think there is still another couple of steps after this.

Does the Theatre Royal have accessible toilets?

Yes, near the entrance

Does the Theatre Royal have refreshments?

1 bar upstairs and 1 other small refreshment bar to the side of the theatre. Serving alcohol, soft drinks, sweets and chocolate. Also, don’t forget the obligatory ice-cream during the interval.

Any restaurants to have something to eat before or after the show?

Nearby Ba Bursi (Indian) and Sabroso Tex Mex both in George Street (5 minutes walk from the Theatre Royal) are particularly good.

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