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Cinderella and the Lost Slipper - Pantomime launch 07 September 2021

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Cinderella and the Lost Slipper.

The 2021 Pantomime Launch

Grimsby Auditorium

Tuesday 07 September 2021

On a surprisingly warm September day, Lincs Inspire and Chris Moreno launched their latest production – the 2021 pantomime Cinderella and the Lost Slipper. After missing out last year due to the wicked coronavirus (Hiss! Boo!!!) which hopefully is now BEHIND YOU! Panto is returning to Grimsby with all the colour and spectacle one would expect of such a production.

At today’s launch we met Dandini, Fairy Fabulous, Baron Hardup, Buttons, the Ugly Sisters, Prince Charming, and of course, the beautiful Cinderella. The cast has such showbiz pedigree behind them its more a case of asking, what haven’t they been in over the years? Between panto favourite Fraser Hines and fellow leads John D Collins and Vicky Michelle, the company have starred in and worked with the majority of popular British TV shows since the 1970s.

Best known for her role as Yvette Carte Blanche in ‘Allo ‘Allo! Vicky Michelle has an Impressive CV that has seen her work extensively on stage and screen working with the likes of The Two Ronnies, appearing in Alan Ayckbourn plays and playing harridan Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie. She is appearing as Fairy Fabulous in this production and looks every inch as glamorous in person as you would expect from her screen performer. She interacted delightfully with a little girl who wanted to show her a Barbie doll as the buffet lunch was being served and another who just happened to be passing from the Leisure Centre. Children are going to love this wonderfully warm and caring Fairy Godmother as she leads the company like the true professional that she is.

Alongside her, returning to Grimsby Auditorium this year is Frazer Hines best known as Joe Sugden from Emmerdale. Last seen by Grimsby audiences in 2018’s The Beauty and the Beast, Frazer is a popular performer, skilled at working the audience, making them feel a part of the show and winning them over with his charm. Former Doctor Who assistant Frazer has been working professionally since he was very young in the 1950s and when asked why he is returning to the stage once more he simply replied “I just love panto. Its such a pleasure to do with the live audiences.” He is really looking forward to a return to the Auditorium stage in front of a Grimsby audience!

John D Collins is best known as RAF Flight Lieutenant Fairfax, one of the two airmen being sought by the Germans in ‘Allo ‘Allo! Along with this year’s Fairy Fabulous but is another who should be considered a national treasure having appeared in such gems as Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Alf Hot Mum, Are You Being Served? and Secret Army. Actors of his calibre should really be celebrated for their skill and longevity. I bet they have some amazing tales to tell of working alongside the giants of British comedy. The affection for "JD" among his castmates is clear to see at this afternoon's event

As the beautiful Cinderella, we have Kitty Harris, who recently appeared on TV’s Little Mix - The Search for the BBC and has over half a million followers on TikTok. Kitty was clearly having a last at the launch laughing with the photographers and cast mates whilst joking that she would get run over by the mini–Rolls Royce as it reversed out of the Auditorium’s foyer offering to share any insurance payout or a fee for Who’s Been Framed? And neither Jack Osmond’s Prince Charming nor Gregor Duncan’s Buttons offered to help her as the car drove towards her! It is clear that the cast are loving their time together thus far and their banter and chemistry will be clear for all to see when the show opens on December 10th.

This panto is going to be a real team effort and these are the cast who will spread a little theatrical joy and magic around the Auditorium.

Finally, no panto version of Cinderella is complete without the comic stylings of two Ugly Sisters and none come any uglier than the show-stopping Michael Courtney and Ian Norton who drive said mini-Rolls Royce into the foyer almost colliding with the ticket office as they struggled to find the brakes! Like two rejects from Ru Paul’s Drag Race they came, they saw, and they conquered - demanding the spotlight and receiving it, whilst honking a car horn and playing havoc with Radio Humberside’s sound levels during the live broadcast from the venue. If you want controlled chaos in your Christmas entertainment, look no further than these two wickedly funny siblings.

Once the pomp and ceremony of the launch was over, we retired to the calm of the mezzanine bar at the Auditorium for a spot of lunch and the chance to chat to the actors who were trying their best not to spill anything on their lovingly crafted costumes.

The next time I see these good folk, I suspect it will be in far les serene circumstances. Get ready Grimsby Cinders & Co are coming for you from December 10th – 30th. Book your tickets now so you don’t miss out!

More details can be found online at the Grimsby Auditorium's website and tickets can be booked directly from there too.

Andy Evans

7 September 2021

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