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Theatre Royal Windsor: Cinderella ****
12:00pm Friday 14th December 2007 in Freetime
THE panto season is now in full swing, with Windsor's Theatre Royal kicking off the festive fun with its production of Cinderella. This all-singing, all-dancing version of the traditional fairy tale has plenty to delight young and old, with lots of slapstick moments to keep kids entertained and amusing references to TV shows to raise a chuckle for parents.
Ed Stewpot' Stewart, for instance, is still able to get cries of "Crackerjack!" from older members of the audience after all these years.
The former DJ plays Baron Stoneybroke, and the chemistry between him and Christopher Beeny and Michael Sharvell-Martin as the ugly sisters, Salmonella and Listeria, was superb and very obvious from the start.
Wayne Sleep, who plays Buttons, delighted the audience by displaying his full repertoire of talents. Most famous for his dancing, the Theatre Royal veteran also showed off his singing and acting ability in an excellent all-round performance.
Although most of the cheers were reserved for a special cameo from childrens' favourite Rupert the Bear, the star of the show was newcomer Carly Day, who beat off competition from hundreds of girls in an X-Factor style contest called "Search for Cinders" to take the lead role.
Twenty-year-old Carly, from Whitten near Twickenham, was making her pantomime debut, and her brilliant singing and acting mean she is certainly a name to look out for in the future. Until January 6.