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Guildford Pantomime 2018: Cinderella

The annual Guildford Pantomime is back for Christmas 2018 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and this year it's Cinderella 🎭

What is the Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime, Guildford?

A magical set, sparkling costumes, a stunning live band and some utterly adorable real ponies make this year's Guildford pantomime at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre one you certainly don’t want to miss.

With such a fabulous Fairy Godmother in charge, we’re pretty confident that luck is on Cinderella’s side and, in spite of the antics of her Ugly Sisters, she just might get to go to the ball – but what about you? Will you join them on this fairytale adventure?  You’d be a pumpkin to miss out.

Read More: Surrey Theatres Nominated For Great British Panto Awards

Cinderella
Eagle Radio's Peter Gordon stars in his 13th Guildford Pantomime, Cinderella in 2018.

Who is starring in the Guildford Pantomime?

Artist, actress and songwriter Michelle Gayle brings stars as the Fairy Godmother - you may remember her as Hattie Tavernier in Eastenders. She has more recently had a successful music career with top-10 hit singles and three BRIT Award nominations. Michelle Gayle has also has played Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in London’s West End.

Read More: Michelle Gayle Announced To Perform At Guildford Panto

Pantomime regular and cabaret performer Kit Hesketh-Harvey returns to play royal right-hand man, the majestic but meddlesome Dandini. 

Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon has dragged his partner in Panto crime Nick Barclay on a dubious shopping spree... Clad in wild wigs and funky frocks, this truly gruesome twosome make the perfect Ugly Sisters. We're starting to worry about PG's wardrobe now.. he's been doing this for 13 years! 💄👗

Watch: The Funniest Moments Of The Peter Gordon Breakfast Show

Guildford’s favourite Brummie Jamie Brook makes a welcome return, water pistol in hand, as Cinderella’s best buddy, Buttons. After an enchanting performance as Tommy the Cat last year, Georgie Leatherland returns to Pantoland to star as Cinderella and prove that wishes really can come true.  Guildford School of Acting student Cameron Burt will play the dashing Prince Charming.

Characters in the Yvonne Arnaud pantomime Guildford
Michelle Gayle, Recording Artist and former Eastenders regular joins the Guildford Pantomime cast as the Fairy Godmother.
Characters in the Yvonne Arnaud pantomime Guildford
Our very own Peter Gordon stars as an Ugly Sister alongside Nick Barclay.

When is the Guildford Pantomime?

The Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime runs from 19:00 PM on Friday 7th December 2018 - 17:30 on Sunday 6th January 2019 🎄

 

There are a number of bargain performances on:

  • Friday 7th December at 19:00PM
  • All performances Tuesday 11th December - Friday 14th December
  • All performances Tuesday 18th December & Wednesday 19th December
  • All performances Wednesday 2nd January - Friday 4th January

Relaxed Performances 

Thursday 20th December 1:30PM performance of the Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime is a Relaxed Performance.

Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but the environment has been specifically adapted for families with children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. 

Tickets for the relaxed Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime performance are £13.00.

Characters in the Yvonne Arnaud pantomime Guildford
Jamie Brook makes a welcome return as Cinderella’s best buddy, Buttons.

Guildford Pantomime

Georgie Leatherland returns to The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre to star as Cinderella.
Will you join them on this fairytale adventure? You’d be a pumpkin to miss out.

How much are tickets to the Guildford Pantomime?

📣 Tickets for Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime Cinderella are on sale now.

 

Book your tickets today by calling the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Box Office on 01483 44 00 00. You can also book your tickets to the Yvonne Arnaud Pantomime here: www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.

Standard performances:

  • Stalls - £29.50
  • Circle - £28.00

Bargain performances:

  • Stalls - £23.50
  • Circle - £22.00

Children under 16 for £5 off all seats for all performances.

Schools tickets are £10 for all bargain performances. Plus you will receive 1 free teacher for every 10 students.

Tickets for the Relaxed Performance are £13.00.


Reviews of the Guildford Pantomime

Fairy Powered Productions

4****

This is a fully inflated panto with two caricature dames centre stage. There are classic annual scenes that the audience know are coming and give a cheer of anticipation. Alongside traditional panto shenanigans and terrible jokes, you have current tunes from The Greatest Showman and Baby Shark. Entertaining, however I have seen better written scripts that allow a smoother flow in the performance.

Buttons (Jamie Brook) is a lovable character, played just silly enough so that the children in the audience instantly liked him. Georgie Leatherland (Cinderella) and Cameron Burt (Prince Charming) are your average star crossed lovers, giving the story line its substance.

Stand out performances go to The Ugly Sisters, Coleen (Peter Gordon) and Kimmy (Nick Barclay) who are a little more aggressive in their bullying than I have seen before, ramping up their evil roles. This is complemented by their hilarious facial contortions, oversized costumes
and wigs.

By far the best performance of the night for me goes to Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Dandini), struggling to play nice when he usually plays the villain! His liquid tones draw you in to an adult world of humour that you cannot resist. This is counterbalanced by Michelle Gayle (Fairy Sweetness) and her dulcet tones.

Director Jamie Smith and his creatives have created a feast of sparkles and colour for the eye, with slick scene changes and a variety of music. The ensemble danced and sang beautifully, bringing the whole thing to life. Generally a good offering for the festive season.

 

The Reviews Hub

Christmas in Guildford only properly begins with The Twelve Days of Christmas, as performed by the Yvonne Arnaud panto: an annual ritual of mayhem and misrule in which custard pies are thrown, knickers hurled and foam and water sprayed in all directions.

This year, under the direction of Jamie Smith, things seem a little slicker  – though not too slick – and I am happy to report that the Twelve Days is as riotously silly as normal. All the Yvonne Arnaud favourites are back: Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon as Ugly Sister Colleen; Jamie Brook as a lovesick Brummie Buttons, mooning over Cinderella; and the inimitable Kit Hesketh-Harvey as Dandini.

Hesketh-Harvey has gone ‘a whole year without the boos’ and is reborn as a good guy: Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Prince. Naturally, Hesketh-Harvey extracts maximum fun from Dandini, a decidedly camp aide-de-camp. But his normal villainy is missed: come back next year, Kit, with the boos.

Georgie Leatherland returns as a crowd-pleasing Cinderella, while Cameron Burt, in his final year of training at the Guildford School of Acting, is Prince Charming. Also starring is actress and singer Michelle Gayle, as the magical Fairy Sweetness.

This is a charming, traditional panto, shot through with silliness and sparkle. Eagle-eyed children may spot the horse-box parked outside the theatre; for, in an enchanting scene, Cinderella is transported to the ball in a coach pulled by a pair of snow-white ponies.

Costumes are superb, especially for the Ugly Sisters, culminating in Peter Gordon dressed as a Christmas pudding and his ‘twin’ Kimmy (Nick Barclay) as a full-length Christmas cracker. There is great fun along the way as the sisters get ready for the ball, with Kimmy enlisting the help of a Henry Hoover to produce the world’s most gargantuan trout pout.

Songs include The Greatest ShowShut Up and Dance With Me and Baby Shark, performed with gusto and accompanied by a live band led by ‘Uncle Bryan’ (musical director Bryan Hodgson). Joining the cast are a host of talented juvenile performers: particularly effective in a scene in which, dressed as woodland animals, they dance with Cinderella.

The production is dedicated to James Barber, the Yvonne Arnaud’s former director and chief executive, who died suddenly during last year’s panto. This radiant and rumbustious production in his memory is not to be missed.

 

The Stage

This year’s Yvonne Arnaud pantomime features all the traditional ingredients, along with the spicy wit of a stand-up show.

Writer and director Jamie Smith’s production has something for everyone. From the eyeball-searing pink glitter of the castle ballroom to the grungy tanning salon favoured by the Ugly Sisters, no expense has been spared in this lavish and entertaining production.

Top of the bill is TV and pop star Michelle Gayle as Fairy Sweetness, a vision in silver spangles who appears in a volley of fireworks. But the real stars are hard-working Buttons (Jamie Smith, under his stage name Brook), the raven-haired Cinderella, a lovely unaffected performance by Georgie Leatherland, and Prince Charming, played with wide-eyed charm and a streak of naughtiness by Cameron Burt.

Cabaret king Kit Hesketh-Harvey brings his trademark sardonic wit, dripping with double-entendres, to the role of Dandini. The Ugly Sisters, Peter Gordon and Nick Barclay, are intent on bagging “any man with a pulse”, and their off-colour jokes and insults contrast with Buttons’ good-natured Brummie slapstick.

No Guildford panto would be complete without two cute miniature white horses and the battle of the 12 Days of Christmas. That’s when the Ugly Sisters smother Buttons with custard pies and he in turn spreads foam around the audience, to the delighted squeals of the children. There’s also a water cannon, so avoid the front six rows if you don’t like getting wet.

The wall scene is a real highlight; Prince and Cinders’ first duet is interrupted by a jealous Buttons. Jostling for Cinders’ kisses they push each other off the wall in an exhaustingly funny round of shoving, scrambling and harmonising.

The singing and dance sequences, by a well-schooled ensemble and some very small children, are as good as any West End show, and the unseen band, under Bryan Hodgson keeps the music flowing and the feet tapping. I left the theatre with the infuriatingly catchy Baby Shark song lodged in my head, and a feeling that the future of panto is rosy.

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