Video and photo gallery: Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime Cinderella takes a trip to the seaside

Dress rehersal for the Theatre Royal 2013 pantomime, Cinderella. Baron Hardup  Christopher Ryan.
 Picture: Simon Finlay Dress rehersal for the Theatre Royal 2013 pantomime, Cinderella. Baron Hardup  Christopher Ryan. Picture: Simon Finlay

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
12:05 PM

With a festive mix of fairytale magic, true love, slapstick humour and ice-cream along the prom, prom, prom, the classic tale of Cinderella is taking a trip to the coast for this year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime - oh yes it is!

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Our fine city has been transformed into Norwich-next-the Sea for the theatre’s Christmas spectacle which opens tonight.

Richard Gauntlett, the show’s writer and director, said: “It’s Cinderella set in Norwich-next-the-Sea, a sleepy seaside town, and Baron Hardup runs Hardup Hotel with the two ugly stepdaughters and the lovely Cinderella.

“The prince and his party arrive for his 21st birthday and they get entangled with the Hardups - and hopefully end up with the right people!”

The glittering extravaganza begins with the Fairy Godmother - played by The Three Degrees star Sheila Ferguson - arriving in style by flying bike and being tasked with helping the course of true love to run smooth.

Former Hollyoaks actor Matt Milburn is taking on the role of Prince Charming while Cinderella is played by Ruth Betteridge.

Also joining them in the cast is Christopher Ryan (The Young Ones, Absolutely Fabulous) as Baron Hardup, meanwhile the outrageous Ugly Sisters, Candy and Flossie, are played by Ian Belsey and Graeme Henderson.

Huge musical numbers, custard pies and side-splitting comedy, and all the other key ingredients of a good old-fashioned pantomime are incorporated into the show, and when asked what audiences could expect, Mr Gauntlett said: “Spectacle, a coach and horses like no other, a good story, and a lot of water.

“There’s one scene in the show that uses 2,000 gallons of water.”

Mr Gauntlett is also playing Buttons in Cinderella.

He said: “Buttons is my favourite role in panto. I think it’s my fourth or fifth time I’ve played it and I always enjoy it and try to find something different to bring to it, and many of my heroes have played Buttons over the years, like Dickie Henderson and Ronnie Corbett.

“It’s always a great part, and Buttons has got a good story. He is in love with Cinderella but he lets her go when the prince turns up.”

Tickets are selling well for the show, with just over 51,000 tickets for Cinderella sold so far, but there are still some seats available.

“People should come see Cinderella if they want to enjoy a good night of live theatre,” said Mr Gauntlett.

“Usually the first piece of theatre a child remembers is pantomime, so it’s important we make it magical.”

• Cinderella is at Norwich Theatre Royal until January 19.

For more information visit

• Do you have a story about the arts in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at


  • Went to see Cinderella last night and we enjoyed it so much. Can thoroughly recommend it. Only downside is that the Prince cannot sing!! Everyone else has wonderful voices. Very funny scenes too.

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    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • starts tonight not from tomorrow i got tickets.

    Report this comment

    Matthew Browes

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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