Cinderella (Mayflower)

Brian Conley is the heart and soul of this Mayflower show.

Cinderella at Southampton Mayflower
Cinderella at Southampton Mayflower

If you are after a star-studded, flashy, but rib-tickling pantomime, the Mayflower is the place to go.

QDOS entertainment certainly has a winning formula. Throw in enough special effects, ‘aw’ moments, and comedy skits to assault our attention span. Only they can segway into a round of Southampton’s Got Talent. And yet Cinderella feels surprisingly fresh.

This show lives and dies by Brian Conley. One of the best pantomime performers out there. He has the audience rolling in the aisles. His humour comes thick and fast, and his personality is ever present. In fact he appears in nearly every single scene when the plot doesn’t require him.

So much so that the other characters can get sidelined. Not that the performances aren't top notch. Lauren Hall and Chris Ellis-Stanton are absolutely delightful as Cinderella and Charming. Dan Burton has a marvellous voice as Dandini, whilst Martin Tamsdin and David Robbins are downright nasty as the Ugly Sisters. There’s even an furry cameo that will melt the audience’s hearts.

To top it we are blessed with a recent newcomer to panto. The Fairy Godmother is perfect for fashion guru, Gok Wan, and he plays the role with charisma and ease. He proves the ideal co-star alongside Conley, and the interplay between the two is engaging.

Along with Salisbury Playhouse, the Mayflower provides the best panto in the south. Cinderella has spectacular production values and the perfect star casting, with Conley being the life and soul of the show.

A must see.