Panto season is in full swing and you’re sure to have a ball if you check out what Milton Keynes Theatre has to offer this festive season.
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, so it’s just as well producers Qdos Entertainment have given the traditional tale some extra sparkle to make the show stand out from the many pantos I’ve seen in recent years.
In fact it’s the best fun in the region since Bradley Walsh starred in Peter Pan at the same venue in 2014. And that’s thanks to the superb chemistry between comedian Brian Conley (Buttons) – who has a striking resemblance to The Chase host – and fashion guru Gok Wan (the Fairy Gok-mother).
The pair bounced off each other superbly and reduced each other to fits of laughter on many occasions – such as when Gok put Brian to sleep, but then, as he prepared to cast his spell, the supposedly snoring Buttons was instead flat on his back giggling away.
Their rapport was perhaps not that surprising since they revealed this is their third year in panto together (and Gok often cooks his meals between shows!).
It’s all a far cry from some of the pantos I’ve seen in the past where the so-called celebrity seems to go through the motions, doing little to justify their star billing (and big pay packet, no doubt).
But it’s not just Gok and Brian that impressed, the Ugly Sisters Tess and Claudia (Ben Stock and Neal Wright) deserve praise for desperately trying to persuade the audience they were gorgeous and admitting they “just wanted to grope a bloke”!
They must have gone through at least a dozen quickfire changes into outrageous costumes during the course of the evening.
Lauren Hall played the title role impressively and of course Gok was just the man to provide the makeover she needed to get to the ball in some upmarket clobber and get Prince Charming (Matthew Goodgame) under her spell.
Memorable moments included the raffle to win a big TV, MK’s Got Talent with some surprise celebrity guests, Buttons with his toilet hut prop, and the gag about MK’s many roundabouts.
Cinderella can be seen until Sunday January 14. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes