Whatever Mingers! a Cinderella Pantomime…

We had the most wonderful time attending the Cinderella Pantomime at the Hexagon theatre in Reading.

Cinderella pantomime, hexagon theatre

The stunning painted stage curtain

Hexagon Theatre Cinderella Pantomime

Today’s festive treat brought by Jingle , our Christmas elf, was a set of tickets to the Cinderella Pantomime at Hexagon Theatre in Reading.

Arriving at the theatre to watch the Cinderella pantomime, you know you’re in for a treat when you walk through the door and the reception area has clouds, cutouts of the characters, and castle decorations. There was a giant silver slipper and a mini “museum” of some of the costumes and a model of the set for you to enjoy while you wait to go in-or after! Clever little details like pumpkins and a small slipper on a cushion all helped set the scene. We of course, had to get the obligatory light up toys that they sell-great for dark winter days and they kept my boys happily occupied.

We grabbed some sweets from the cafe and headed inside to our fabulous seats. We had front row seats so the children were really able see the action up close.

As you’d expect from  a pantomime, the jokes, acting, ludicrous characters and physical comedy was totally over the top. But in the best possible way. My 3 children aged 4,6 and 8 were riveted and my hubby and I really enjoyed the adult humour that was hidden in the script, totally went over my kids heads.

Whatever Mingers

Of course, my boys thought the ugly stepsisters, played by men of course, were very funny and I have to say, their outfits were amazingly elaborate. I think my husband was a little anxious when they chose their “boyfriends” from the audience but thankfully they picked on some other poor fellas. We particularly enjoyed their opening scene shopping outfits and their ballgowns…not many people can rock looking like a vase of flowers!

Hiya Buttons, Hiya Minions

As always, there is a character who interacts with the audience more than the others and actually talks directly to us. This was Buttons, the hired help who is in love with Cinderella. My children still talk about his amazing growing rose plant and call out: Hiya Buttons! We enjoyed his silliness throughout (especially his antics with the stepsisters) and his Old MacDonald rendition at the end was superbly funny.

Cinderella was your stereotypical pretty blonde Cinders, just what you’d expect. She totally convinced my children that she was the real deal. She left us in awe of her speedy change from rags to ballgown, when moments before we’d seen her on stage. We especially loved her beautiful, creative and clever coach and horse that took her to the ball. Magical. We did secretly wish she’d end up with Buttons, but that’s just not how the story goes…

Cinders, Hairy Biker father (who looked exactly right) with his recipes recitation, made me feel like I should have had  notebook to take some of them down to try at home later.

The Prince and his entourage, were all played by girls, which my children found tricky to understand. My youngest could not get around the fact that the prince was a girl. But she pulled it off well in my opinion.

The chorus roles, played by some of the youngest members of the cast, were faultless and they all danced beautifully. You could see the enjoyment on their faces. All those with solo singing parts , sang beautifully and were a pleasure to listen to. It was amusing to me that “Time of our lives” was one of the songs as I had been to see Dirty Dancing in Oxford just the week before!

The sets and backdrops were stunning and gorgeously detailed. Amazing. I kept staring at them enjoying the tiny details that I guess may have been lost on those sitting further back, but were a real treat for my eyes from the front row. I was especially amused by the labels on all the potions and lotions in the stepsister’s bathroom.

All in all, it was an awesome way to spend a winter’s day during the festive season.

Have you been to see the Cinderella pantomime? You definitely must!!

 

 

Author: Carla v H.

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