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Curtain Up

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: January 11, 2013

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Cinders returns to Regent stage

PROFESSIONAL companies turned their backs on Cinderella (reckoned to be the most popular pantomime of them all) this season, but the adventurous and versatile Highcliffe Charity Players are filling the gap on stage at the Regent Centre in Christchurch from next Saturday 19th to Saturday 26th January.

This was the first pantomime ever staged at the Regent when it was rescued from its redundant cinema state by a group of local volunteers.

Now the Charity Players return with that magical rags-to-riches fairy tale, running for ten performances including three matinees, and mid-morning and tea time "meet the cast" shows, and as usual, profits will go to local charities.

In this funny new version, written by Toby Bradford and Tina Webster, the dress-mad Ugly Sisters – Trinny and Susannah – have an outrageous time at a health spa, Dandini is on Facebook and Prince Charming is into internet dating!

But there is no shortage of traditional panto magic, as Cinderella (with the help of faithful Buttons and her Fairy Godmother) attempts to outwit her wicked stepmother and step-sisters and, by way of a lost slipper, win her Prince.

Yes, she will go to the ball ...

Directed by Tracey Barrington, who is now celebrating 30 years with the company, the production is choreographed by HCP chairman Georgina Smith, Louise King and Yvonne Loader. Stuart Darling returns as musical director of his first Charity Players' panto after his debut conducting Half A Sixpence at the Regent Centre last July.

Eighteen year old Coral Norton, who was Beauty in Beauty in the Beast for HCP and sang on the Team GB single One Vision at the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, takes the title role and her Prince Charming is Charlottle Ferguson-Glover, a newcomer to the company.

Charity stalwarts Mike Young and Paul Barrington strut their stuff as Trinny and Susannah, and Paul's son, 17-year-old Charlie Barrington, plays Cinderella's faithful friend, Buttons.

The cast also includes Emma McNish as Dandini, Kate Claxton as the Fairy Godmother, David Coward as Baron Hardup, Christine Duell as Baroness Hardup and Mark Weldon and Valerie Gillard as King and Queen Charming.

For details telephone 01202 499199 or visit the website, www.regentcentre.co.uk/panto

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