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Cinderella – Pantomime 2023-24

14th December 2023 - 7th January 2024

 

From the producers of Beauty and the Beast

Martin Dodd for UK Productions presents

CINDERELLA

You shall go to the ball!

A magical show for all the family, starring Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn as the Fairy Godmother, Malvern’s favourite funny man, Mark James as Buttons, Jamie Morris & Tarot Joseph as the Ugly Sisters, Bethan Jacks as Cinderella, Mark Faith as Baron Hardup, Ben Brooker as Prince Charming and Jordan Lee Davies as Dandini.

With a script by Jon Monie (winner of Best Script at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2019), Cinderella promises side-splitting comedy, stunning sets and costumes.

Join us for a must see, magnificent adventure.

December:

Thurs 14th 7pm

Fri 15th 1pm & 7pm

Sat 16th 2.30pm & 7pm

Sun 17th 1pm & 5pm 

Mon 18th – No Performances

Tues 19th 1pm & 7pm

Wed 20th 10.15am & 6pm

Thurs 21st 10.15am & 6pm

Fri 22nd 10.15am & 6pm

Sat 23rd 2.30pm & 7pm

Sun 24th 1pm & 5pm 

Mon 25th – No Performances 

Tues 26th 1pm & 5pm

Wed 27th 1pm & 5pm

Thurs 28th 1pm & 5pm

Fri 29th 1pm & 6pm

Sat 30th 2.30pm & 7pm

Sun 31st – 1pm & 5pm

January:

Mon 1st – 2.30pm 

Tues 2nd – No performances 

Wed 3rd 1pm & 6pm

Thurs 4th 1pm & 6pm

Fri 5th 1pm (Relaxed) & 7pm

Sat 6th 2.30pm & 7pm

Sun 7th 1pm & 5pm 

 
Red Prices all seats £16.80 (No Concessions or Discounts)

Purple Prices £30.24, £28, £23.52, £20.16

Green Prices £35.84, £32.48, £29.12, £25.76

Relaxed Performance all seats £10       

 

Over 60s/Unwaged £2 Off; Under 16s £7 Off

10% Off for Groups of 10+ (Only when booked through the Box Office 01684 892277)


RELAXED PERFORMANCE

There will be a relaxed performance of Cinderella on Friday 5th January ’24 at 1pm                                  

Relaxed performances are specifically designed for people who find regular performance settings challenging. We extend a warm welcome to people who feel overwhelmed by the ordinary performance environment. These relaxed performances are open to ANYONE who would benefit from a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere including (but not limited to) people living with dementia; people with an Autism Spectrum Condition; people with learning difficulties; people with sensory or communication difficulties; parents with young babies; and anyone who feels they would benefit from a more supportive and inclusive theatre-going experience.

Relaxed performance: All seats £10.00 (Carers half price).

Running time: Approx. 2 hours 45 minutes (including interval)

The Pumpkin Dash Game

Details

Start:
14th December 2023
End:
January 7th
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
£16.80 - £25.76
Relaxed Performace: All tickets £10 (Carers half price)
Early Booking Discount - 10% off until 1st September '23
Prices include 12% booking fee
For groups of 10+ please call the box office on 01684 892277

Event Reviews

  • The View from the Stalls

    A real belter of a panto, colourful and full of songs and laughs and with the kids' favourite Buttons

    Mark James has certainly made a name for himself when it comes to pantos in Malvern and his sizeable fan club was obviously present on the opening night of this year's Cinderella judging by the enormous applause and cheers he got when arriving on stage in the most unexpected costume possible. Having rapidly discarded this, he reverted to norm with his usual greeting of "where's me mates?" to which the audience replied, without prompting, "here we are!".

    This year, Mark is playing Buttons, displaying his unrequited love for Cinderella (Bethan Jacks) throughout what is one of the sweetest of panto stories. There being no real evil villains, the booing and hissing is reserved for the Ugly Sisters - Melody and Harmony Hard-Up, in reality Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph, both totally unrecognisable from their real selves in ridiculously over the top costumes which changed with every appearance on stage. There was even a "wardrobe malfunction" which appeared to be completely unplanned too.

    Meanwhile the Fairy Godmother who, of course, arranges a happy ending, was played by Katie McGlynn - Sinead Tinker from Coronation Street, which gave rise to a couple of soap references, including one for rival Eastenders.

    The role-swapping Prince Charming and Dandini saw Ben Brooker and Jordan Lee Davies having quite a bit of funny interplay between them as the Prince (neighing like a horse whenever the thought of a beautiful girl came into his head!) decided to go downmarket and become Dandini in order to impress Cinderella. The main cast was completed by panto stalwart Mark Faith as Baron Hard-Up and there were many varied colourful dance routines from the adult and child dancers, along with an appearance from two beautiful white horses pulling the carriage.

    But clearly everyone was rightly playing second fiddle to Mark James who was frankly hilarious both in his antics on stage (Can pigs fly? Well, yes in this production Mark proves it by taking his first flight across the stage…) and in his interactions with the audience, especially the kids (though he wisely left Jeremy in the second row to the clutches of one of the Sisters!) and it was good to see mentions for some of those in the audience as well as having 4 members of the young Perdiswell football team on stage attempting to guide us through the chorus of Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do… And back for the first time since Covid, a welcome photo opportunity with Mark after the show too.

    As usual, the jokes came thick and fast and, as usual, there were some for the kids and a few for the adults (not to be repeated here!) which hopefully the kids wouldn't get! All done in the best possible taste, of course!

    The good news is that it is already confirmed that Mark will be back in Malvern next year in Sleeping Beauty from December 12th, not in the title role but in the more appropriate one of Silly Billy! Book now, as they say!

  • Birmingham Live - Zoe Chamberlain

    Christmas would not be Christmas for us if we didn't go to the Malvern Theatres panto. Having been for the last nine years, it's an annual tradition. We know exactly what to expect and it never fails to deliver. We're not the only ones to think this. Funnyman Mark James no longer needs to prompt the audience to participate in his call and response catchphrases - the crowd automatically chants them to him within minutes of him being on stage.

    That doesn't mean it gets boring. This year he came on dressed as Barbie to the Barbie Girl music. It was hilarious. And he met his match with the two ugly sisters - played brilliantly by Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph - who had umpteen costume changes and plenty of great gags.

    The best moment is, of course, the one when it all goes wrong. And, opening night didn't disappoint. It came when Melody Hard-Up (Jamie Morris) was having her extra- extra long, green, spotty stocking removed to try to fit her foot into the crystal slipper. With the final tug, she accidentally fell off her chair and her wig tumbled into the orchestra pit. In fits of hysterics, she turned to Jeremy - the poor dad in the audience who she'd been ribbing all night - and said in a deep, gruff voice 'Sorry Jeremy.' It was pure comedy genius.

    The sisters were pretty menacing when it came to bullying Cinderella, making them baddies well worthy of a good 'boo' but you couldn't help but laugh as they kept calling her Citronella, Nutella and Salmonella. And there were plenty of local jokes - 'it could have been worse, they could have sent us to Worcester' and 'wash your mouth out with Lea & Perrins'.

    The title roles of Cinderella and Prince Charming were performed brilliantly by Bethan Jacks and Ben Brooker, particularly the prince, who reminded me a little of Rik Mayall with his over-exaggerated facial expressions. These characters can sometimes be a bit vanilla compared to the comedic Buttons and the sisters but that wasn't the case here at all.

    There were several nods to Coronation Street and Strictly as Katie McGlynn played the Fairy Godmother and narrator. The music was great with Prince Charming singing adaptations of Pulp's Common People and Kylie's Padam, Padam.

    As ever, Mark James stole the show, when he came on as a flying pig and ended up stuck, hanging there, saying 'I really need a wee.' And, of course, he had us in bits with his extra long Granny joke. My only wish was that he'd have done it again.

    The kids loved it, we loved it, the grandparents loved it. There were ghosts, there were water guns, there were 'he's behind yours', there were kids brought up on stage, there was audience participation, there was a brilliant orchestra that very much got involved in the show. There was even a horse drawn carriage, literally.

    And Cinderella's dress change was seriously impressive. This has the feel of a traditional show with all the technical stardust, sparkling costumes and sets needed to give it that extra pizazz. Go see it - you can't help leaving with a smile on your face and a warm festive cheer in your heart.

  • A View from Behind the Arras - Jane Lush

    What a magical show for all the family starring Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn as the Fairy godmother, Mark James as Buttons, Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph as the Ugly sisters, Bethan Jacks as Cinderella, Mark Faith as baron Hardup, Ben Brooker as Prince Charming and Jordan Lee Davies as Dandini.

    We all know the story of a beautiful young girl who is cruelly mistreated by her wicked step mother and jealous ugly sisters. Her only real friend is the servant Buttons played by Mark James, hailed as Malvern’s funny man.

    One day the king and queen have a ball as it is time for their son, the prince, to find a wife.

    Cinderella (played beautifully by Bethan Jacks) has more work to do making dresses for her sisters but she isn’t allowed to go to the ball herself.

    However, she is visited by her fairy Godmother (portrayed splendidly by Katie McGlynn, who also keeps the audience updated with the story). She grants Cinderella her wish to enable her to go to the ball.

    There she dances with the prince (Ben Brooker, who plays a slightly unusual Prince Charming!!) but at the stroke of midnight Cinderella knows she must return home but on her way she loses her glass slipper.

    The prince having fallen in love with her goes to find her by trying the slipper on every girl until at last he finds her – cue marriage and living happily ever after.

    The two ugly sisters (Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph) constantly delighted the audience with their grotesque costumes and behaviour.

    This well loved fairy story scripted by Jon Monie (winner of best script at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2019 ) and directed skillfully by Benji Sperring, contains plenty of humour, stunning sets and sparkling costumes which will especially delight younger audiences.

    Celia Hall Dance Centre should also be congratulated for the fine performances by its young students.

    Press night performance had its young audience on their feet joining in enthusiastically and loudly! My two young grandsons said it was the best day of their lives.

  • Karol

    Wonderfully entertaining panto, costumes & scenery, fantastic !!
    All the artists were absolutely great , & gave the audience a wonderful evening, Thank you.
    See you all hopefully next year.

  • Wendy

    Yet again....a fantastic panto.
    Mark James was, as usual brilliant and funny, the 'ugly sisters' were great, with some amazing costumes, and the rest of the cast were also fantastic. Lots of great jokes/one-liners , some suited to kids others for the adults.......
    Well worth the money.....a great way to spend between 2-3 ,hours. Well worth seeing. Can't wait till 2024 when Mark James returns to Malvern. 🙂

  • Malvern Observer - Euan Rose

    This is already my third panto review this season and the most noticeable thing about this year’s offerings is that they are the glitziest -in your face – productions since Covid said ‘Oh no you don’t’.
    I’m so delighted those mask filled days of yore are gone and we can happily say about the pandemic ‘it’s behind you!’

    Panto audiences are back doing what they do best in theatres at this time of the year – booing. hissing, cheering – not too mention the annoying, munching, swigging and behaving like children along with the children. Not tolerated in auditoriums any other time of the year but here it’s all part of pantomime etiquette.

    Malvern offers a dazzling production of Cinderella on stage this year, complete with live white ponies pulling Cinderella’s jewel encrusted coach to the prince’s ball – enough to melt the hearts of the biggest bah humbug begrudges.

    There is a bevy of beautiful backdrops, stunning costumes, magical music from Tom Self and a hardworking ensemble including child stars of tomorrow from Cecilia Hall Dance Centre.

    Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn heads up the principals as the Fairy Godmother bringing the Malvern Hills alive with the sound of Manchurian mirth.

    Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph take on with alacrity the task of being the butt of the boos as the ugly sisters and Behan Jacks is as delightful as she is delectable as their half sister Cinderella.

    Actually in this production it was refreshing too see Cinderella is more liberated than the usual house slave portrayal.

    Maybe this is because her stepmum is absent from the cast list and she just has a daft but doting dad – that’s Mark Faith as Baron Hard-Up.

    Seasoned musical theatre star Jordan Lee Davies is also a three dimensional Laddie as opposed to the traditional thigh slapping lady as the Prince’s minder Dandini and the high note hitting Ben Brooker is a real charmer as the Prince.

    Back for his umpteenth season at Malvern is Mark James – this year as Buttons. He’s the story lynch pin and it has to be said that much of the success of Malvern panto’s is down to his infectious personality. Oh yes it is!

    Director Benji Sperring commendably mixes tradition with originality, but I couldn’t quite understand why he’d introduced a long, wordy prologue. It adds little and up holds up the action.

    Once that is out of the way it’s festive fun for the next rollicking two hours leaving us smiling and craving mulled wine and mince pies.

  • Milee

    Watched the pantomime yesterday on Monday 17th and it was amazing I would say better then last year's pantomime, can't wait for next year's pantomime cus I'm sure it's going to be just as amazing as this year's.

  • Cat

    Amusing, comical, cheeky. Laugh a minute. Fab characters . Always love the panto. Scenery, costumes are amazing.

  • Jo

    Not having been to the panto for a few years I was absolutely delighted to watch this fantastic show. The cast were amazing Buttons stole the show as did the ugly sisters who were fabulous.
    It was both modern with you to date music and songs from further back so something for everyone.

    Some naughty references had me almost crying with laughter especially the massage incident 😉

    All in all a fabulous production. Well done to everyone involved and I’d like to commend the you g girls who danced their hearts out.

    Definitely worth the watch 😁

  • Gill

    Great fun, and the costumes were OUTSTANDING! Hats off to the design team, they were spectacular!

  • Scott Harrington - Young Reviewers in the Shire

    Malvern Theatres have done it again! Oh yes they have!

    Writing this review means a lot to me, as I have attended the annual Malvern Theatre pantomime every year on Christmas Eve, since I was very young. The pantomimes certainly inspired me as a child, I remember re-enacting the routines to my friends on the school playground. Every year I would be captivated by the humour enjoyed by both the kids and adults, the bright colours within both the characters and scenery, the dame’s hilariously grotesque costume changes, along with the stage magic that would just blow my mind, and this year’s production of Cinderella delivered just that.

    This year I brought my 86 year old Grandma Pat with me to the show. In her youth, she would watch pantomimes in small village halls. The Malvern pantomime is obviously on a much grander scale, but she believes the humour hasn’t changed at all over the years. Grandma Pat particularly enjoyed the music featured in the show, both old and new.

    We found the management of Malvern Theatres is faultless, in the way that the staff pays close attention to everybody’s needs. Booster seats were available for the small audience members to get the perspective they deserve. There was easy access in and out of the main theatre as well as the auditorium for wheelchair users, whether in the stalls or up in the circle. I was impressed by the upfront notice given to audience members about the loud noises and flashing lights that featured in the show. Very considerate.

    It’s important to acknowledge that for a lot of children, seeing a pantomime is often their first trip to the theatre. The experience for them is all very new and they do not necessarily know what to expect. Director Benji Sperring and the rest of the creative team behind “Cinderella” clearly understand how to give the kids a rewarding theatre experience. Don Bluth (one of the greatest children’s story tellers of all time) believed that kids should “earn their happy endings” by watching the hero face many challenges before achieving happily ever after. With Cinderella, the children are active players in the story, and participate in helping the characters reach their happily ever after- which makes the victory at the finale all the more exciting!

    There were many jokes throughout the show with double meanings for both kid and adult audience members. The children loved the sight of their parents enjoying themselves just as much as them, and the adults delighted in watching the next generation enjoy the classic routines and jokes for the very first time. It makes the whole experience feel very fresh and new again.

    Malvern Theatre’s “Cinderella” has plenty of classic pantomime routines that we love and know, as well as new surprises involving illusions, one moment in particular involving the titled character disappearing and then reappearing from a box that never leaves the stage. There was the appearance of two beautiful Shetland ponies to transport Cinderella to the ball. These features of the show, gave the audience a breath of fresh air, whilst still finding comfort in familiarity.

    It is no surprise that Mark James who plays Buttons is immensely loved by Malvern, having returned as the comedian for panto. When he first appeared, the audience were cheering before he even delivered a single line. The crowd knew all his catchphrases, which shows nothing more than a sign of admiration.

    In addition to Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn giving a sublime and comical performance as the Fairy Godmother, I really enjoyed watching Bethan Jacks as Cinderella and Ben Brooker as Prince Charming, who typically would have the toughest roles to play in a pantomime being the most serious characters in the plot, yet they were both showcased in their sensational abilities to sing, act and dance, but also for their hilarious comedy performance skills. Jordan Lee Davies who plays Dandini also shows off his spectacular talents, particularly opening for act two with his incredibly powerful singing voice.

    There is no denying, “Cinderella” is the definitive classic that everybody loves. To anybody visiting Malvern Theatres to watch, all I can say is you certainly won’t be disappointed.

  • Showtime! - John Phillpott

    Begin the boos... lose the winter blues!

    Attention to detail and the all-apparent gratitude to his many loyal fans across Worcestershire and much wider world of entertainment... beyond any shadow of a doubt, therein lies the key to this wonderful panto’s appeal.

    And it’s this, together with the quickfire humour and the gags coming at you with lightning speed, that proves to be such a winning combination for Malvern’s favourite funnyman Mark James, who has become the very embodiment of Malvern’s festive celebrations.

    This year’s annual extravaganza, the sixth visit by Mark, sees him in the role of Buttons, the underdog who - while lacking in luck - is most surely gifted in the humour department.

    To be sure, at just under three hours, this is a rather long production, even by panto standards. But as you would expect, Mark keeps the show rolling along at a cracking pace.

    For even when it looks as if Cinders will not actually go to the ball, the rest of us are having quite a merry dance of our own, laying down the customary barrage of boos, cheers and groans as the corny and sometimes innuendo-laden gags come flying across the auditorium.

    Corrie star Katie McGlynn as the Fairy Godmother injects masses of magic and spoonfuls of spontaneous sparkle throughout, while the Ugly Sisters – Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph – effortlessly strut and bitch their way through ever more outrageous costumes.

    Mind you, if Buttons is indeed the underdog, what does that make poor, downtrodden Cinders? Not that you’d know it, for Bethan Jacks wears the role much like she does her tatty dress, in other words to perfection.

    She comes across as being more pure and whiter than white than the driven snow which, as many of us recall, often used to crown the nearby Malvern Hills until global warming set in.

    Panto is nothing if not an exercise in total mayhem and even Prince Charming appears to have caught the contagion. The role usually entails an impossibly handsome young man sporting an intense expression that seems to be trapped in quick-setting cement, so as not to disturb the aforesaid handsomeness.

    Not so with Ben Brooker’s prince, who at times seems to have bid farewell to his senses, periodically emitting strange howling noises as if he’s been taking vocal coaching from the hound of the Baskervilles.

    This takes a little getting used to as many of us, if not most, assume the main male love interest will exude a degree of regal detachment. Still, none of this seems to bother our Cinders, but then, you knew that. Oh yes you did.

    As for Jordan Lee Davies’ portrayal of Dandini, that down-to-earth flunkey who always does his master’s bidding... well, at times he comes across as having more deportment than his master. Which is just as well, as Cinderella experts who remember the detail of the plot know full well.

    Meanwhile, keeping up with the general state of chaos we have Mark Faith as Baron Hard-Up, who delivers cartloads of nonsense to keep the whole thing crashing along nicely.

    Benji Sperring’s taut direction gets the most out of a talented cast, superbly aided by Cameron MacDonald’s choreography and Tom Self’s musical direction, which in turn enlivens scriptwriter Jon Monie’s words.

    No Christmas season would be complete without a visit to the Malvern panto and I’m sure you feel the same. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the diary and make it a date, folks!

  • Fairy Powered Productions - Courie Amado Juneau

    Ah, panto season is upon us and this year’s choice at Malvern is Cinderella. The auditorium lights seemed brighter and there was a palpable buzz in the room – almost certainly from the heaving stalls full of expectant children and their parents and, of course, the most magical (tinselly) time of the year.

    The show began with the big marquee name – Katie McGlynn – as the exceptionally glamorous Fairy Godmother with a rather familiar northern accent played to the max. With most of her lines rhyming she did very well to remember them all so the Pantoland magic was maintained. We all know she can do the dramatic stuff but tonight we also got to enjoy her more comedic side with an accomplished performance that held the audience in its spell.

    Cinderella was as sweet and lovely as one could wish; Bethan Jacks doing a fine job in her leading lady role. She, and her Prince Charming (Ben Brooker), made a very likable (and believable) duo that we naturally rooted for. The star of the show was though, arguably (and for many), Malvern panto regular Mark James playing Buttons. He had an easy rapport with the audience and whipped up the excitement adding to the atmosphere as cast fed off the energy of the audience (and vice versa). My personal highlight was when all three performed the “Close To You” musical number. A wonderful scene involving some lovely slapstick!

    The Ugly Sisters (Jamie Morris as Melody and Tarot Joseph as Harmony) complimented each other nicely and were suitably scary looking with that delicious hissable quality that any good panto villains need. Dandini (the Prince’s page, Jordan Lee Davies), Baron Hard-Up (Mark Faith) and a troupe of “Villagers” (principally dancers, but in truth so much more) rounded out an excellent cast.

    The costumes were sumptuous and provided much hilarity – especially the implausibly bewigged Ugly sisters. The many sight gags were also welcome and added further to the entertainment. The compact orchestra was in fine form under the taut direction of Musical Director Tom Self, employing many familiar tunes, re-purposed with new lyrics to fit the story. The whole cast producing a joyous and melodious ensemble.

    James returned at the end for an amusing coda to cap the evening off (well, except for one last full cast curtain call) giving him the chance to indulge in a final singalong number as well as involve some local children – for whom the experience will be one they will remember for the rest of their lives I’m sure (as will their families).

    There must be a tick list somewhere of all the elements needed for a truly cracking panto – and Cinderella ticked all the boxes! For it was a fabulous panto with just as much for the parents (or older children at heart) as the little ones. A familiar story, the double entendre laden script (á la saucy postcards), personal nostalgia, a heartwarming love story… all coming together in a festive spectacle that was as sweet a confection as Christmas could possibly dish up. “What’s not to like?” I ask myself – and the answer is “nothing”. Unreservedly recommended.

  • Jacqueline

    Once again, fantastic. We’ve brought our family for the last 3 years and you never disappoint. The grandchildren love the yearly ‘running themes’. In our family a favourite is when grandad shouts ‘where’s me mates?’ and all the grandchildren respond with ‘here we are’. Thank you for the laughs and the memory building. Booking now for the next one. Fabulous family day out.

  • William

    That show was Just amazing. Me and my fiancée went to the last show today on Sunday the 7th and it was just magical ! The songs were great . I’m struggling to remember the last song cus it was so catchy uplifting and just happy ! Everyone was great . Thanks for an amazing experience ! It really was the greatest show on earth


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