Winter family fun: part eight

Welcome to part eight in our series on Winter Family Fun. No winter is complete without a good panto is it? Watching a panto can be a lovely way to celebrate the festive season with family and friends and young, old or in-between it can be something that appeals to everyone.

I always think the best pantos are those with lost of good music, singing and dancing and of course those with some great audience participation.


If you are in the North West this festive season, one of your panto options is Cinderella at St. Helens Theatre Royal. This is running until 10th January, so there is still plenty of time to get your tickets!

Every panto needs a villain and this years is a real Christmas cracker! Most recently seen as bad boy Rob Donovan in ITV1’s Coronation Street for which he was nominated as ‘Best Newcomer’ at both The National Television Awards and the Inside Soap Awards, Marc Baylis swaps the cobbles of Coronation Street for the centre stage at Theatre Royal. Marc starred in Bromley Churchill Theatre’s 2014 panto Sleeping Beauty as Prince Charming, but this will be his debut playing a panto villain, starring as the evil and dastardly Dandini – get ready to boo and hiss.

Theatre Royal favourite and star of ITV1’s Benidorm as acid tongued Janey York and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here; Crissy Rock is delighted to be back this Christmas as one of the Ugly Sisters. No stranger to playing the panto baddie, Crissy starred as the Wicked Queen at The Epstein Theatre in 2013.

Leaving audiences on the edge of their seat in fits of laughter earlier this year as the Mum in Rita, Sue and Bob Too! as well as other past Theatre Royal productions Escorts: The Musical and Dirty Dusting, Crissy is back to bring plenty of fun and laughter to the stage.

Laura Gregory, Jack Rigby, Simon Foster, Ben Engelen and Charlie Griffiths all join Marc and Crissy to complete this year’s cast.

With real Shetland ponies, enchanted pumpkins, sparkling glass slippers, Prince Charming, ugly step-sisters and a Fairy Godmother to make audience’s dreams come true!

What makes this panto great?

  • Loads of audience participation
  • Some great current songs that everyone can join in with
  • Talented dancers, some of whom are very young and super cute
  • Classic panto jokes…”Oh no there weren’t! Oh yes there were”
  • Dancing in the aisles at the end – a real party atmosphere, perfect for celebrating the festive season
  • Marc Baylis (Coronation Street) played a great evil Dandine
  • Superb costumes
  • Lighting and special effects were really effective
  • Good length interval – often they are only a few minutes long and if there are queues it can be tricky get to the toilet or get a drink within the time
  • The fox hunting scene was one of our favourites because of the talent of the young dancer who played the fox -flipping on stage wearing a huge foxes head was seriously impressive!
  • Cinderella had a fantastic singing voice and was very entertaining
  • The real Shetland Ponies stole our hearts and played the cute factor perfectly

Spread the word…this is one to watch!

You can book tickets here.

Family Fever


  1. The thought of going to a pantomime used to make me feel a little queasy (too cheesy!) but that was before parenthood and now I can’t wait to take my little boy to his first panto! Our local theatre’s show was more of a musical this year so we didn’t get tickets but hopefully next year will be a traditional panto, I think my son will love it! #triedtested

  2. We went to see Cinderella in Manchester this year and it was fab – the kids loved it.
    Happy New Year and thanks so much for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

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