We haven’t been to a panto at the Bristol Hippodrome since David Hasselhoff’s legendary appearance as Captain Hook in 2011 so a few boos, hisses and oh no you didn’ts were long overdue!
And boy was it worth our seven-year pantomime drought!
This year’s Cinderella is spectacular.
Brian Conley and Gok Wan
With a gorgeous set that many a West End theatre would be jealous of and awe-inspiring special effects including an amazing end to act one, the stars of the show are Brian Conley as Buttons and Gok Wan as the Fairy Gokmother (see what they did there).
Conley is an entertainment genius. He is so at home on stage and is a master at seamlessly switching between singing, one-liners and audience interaction.
A panto wouldn’t be a panto without getting a group of kids up on stage and this one was hilarious.
We knew Conley has probably made the same jokes before but every line felt spontaneous and like it was first time he’d said it. He had the Bristol Hippodrome audience in the palm of his hand!
Gok Wan was great too and it’s clear he has a strong bond with Conley as they bounced off each other well.
Unsurprisingly he was behind many of the production’s more adult humour but it stayed just on the right side of jokes that only us parents understand.
The rest of the cast delivered strong performances too with birthday girl Lauren Hall as Cinderella putting in some strong vocals, as did Scott Mobley as Prince Charming.
Ben Stock and Neal Wright are hilarious as the ugly sisters who go through several stunning costume changes and entertain the locals with chants of “alright me babbers” and jokes about Bristol City and Bristol Rovers.
Stock and Wright won Best Ugly Sisters at the 2018 Great British Pantomime Awards and we could certainly see why!
When Conley got the children up on stage, one of them was six-year-old Lois who came to the show dressed as a princess.
As she closed her eyes and the Fairy Gokmother appeared with a gift, Conley said: “She’ll remember this moment forever. That’s the magic of panto.”
You know what Buttons; I think we all will.
Cinderella is at Bristol Hippodrome until 6 January.
Great fun at the #Cinderella press night at @BristolHipp tonight. @RealBrianConley is such an outstanding entertainer and @therealgokwan a brilliant Fairy Gokmother! Our 12-year-old is now a big Gok fan! Full review on the blog soon. #Bristol #MerryBristmas #BristolPanto pic.twitter.com/Eg3Nm4RLwF
— Lifestyle District (@LStyleDistrict) December 11, 2018