Eastenders or Corrie? Tea or coffee? Quality Street or Roses? We all have our favourites, but the big debate dividing the children at Little Vikings Towers is which York panto is best: York Theatre Royal or Grand Opera House. While our eldest is absolutely bonkers about Berwick, the 6-year-old is a sucker for the Grand Opera House show. I took her along to this year’s Cinderella for her annual dose of seasonal silliness and she wasn’t disappointed.
For a girl who’s pretty keen on princesses, Cinderella is a winning choice. There’s plenty of sparkle, music and dancing galore and a plot that’s easy for for kids to follow, even with the odd diversion. In fact this is very much a family show from start to finish, featuring songs from the charts, oodles of audience participation and several renditions of Baby Shark. The one-liners may be reminiscent of crackers at Christmas dinner, but they had the kids giggling in their seats.
Michelle Heaton, of Liberty X, shines as the fairy godmother, but it was Amy Thompson as Cinderella who my daughter fell in love with. She was far less keen on the ugly sister who had us all booing at top volume and squirming in our seats with her rendition of ‘Sexy’ (I’m not sure whether the parents or children were most embarrassed). There were some funny set pieces: the anarchic version of the Twelve Days of Christmas, featuring ‘six Brexit treaties, five toilet rolllllllls’, was a particular highlight. As Cinderella’s rags-to-riches story came to an end, so did our York pantomime experiences for this year. Our son might have rolled his eyes at this one, but far as our daughter is concerned, the Grand Opera House scores top marks again.
Cinderella runs at the Grand Opera House York until 5th January 2019. Visit the ATG website for more details and to book tickets.