I’ve had a tough week this week, just to top off my year. Though the tree and decorations are up, I haven’t felt very Christmasy yet.
I was invited to go and see a local panto – Cinderella at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. This was a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t realise at the time how much I would need this in my life!
Unfortunately, my Gran passed away on Thursday 5th December and though we made some lovely memories in her final few days, my Christmas spirit has been dampened slightly.
I was offered 4 tickets to go and see Cinderella and I chose to take Mr and the kids of course. Little Man is now nearly 4 and this was his first experience of seeing a show! He’s not even been to the cinema yet and I did worry that he might not sit through it. As usual though, he proved me wrong.
Now, the proper Mercury Theatre in Colchester is currently going through a bit of a makeover so they’ve set up something a little different so they can still have performances. They have erected a fully heated, fully stocked Big Top in Abbey Field!
I was expecting a tent in a field but it was so much more than that!
The white structure blended in with the clouds it was so big (though it may have been the low cloud). There were pretty lights lining the paths from the car park to the tent and the car park…. Well, though we were in a field, there was a proper car park! It was actually paved with something that looked like a giant puzzle. No muddy feet here!
The entire Big Top setup was amazing, far better than I expected.
We got some drinks and snacks and headed in to the main tent. There’s enough seating for around 800 people. We were in the centre on row X which gave us a perfect view of the stage. We hadn’t been sat down for long and the show started.
There is no “big star” (who usually can’t sing anyway) in Cinderella at the Mercury Theatre Colchester but it doesn’t need one!
The cast all have extensive theatre backgrounds, from West End musicals to Director roles. And boy can they sing!
The Fairy Godmother has a beautiful, soulful voice and she plays the role so well. She switched between accents easily and made the character warm and welcoming.
Buttons was probably my favourite singer in the cast. That man can hold a note! There were so many well known songs, some had been edited slightly to fit the story but they were all done so well. Everyone was singing along!
Mr isn’t much of a “participation” kind of person and he only came along “for the kids”…. Little Man tried to stop him from singing along too though! He kept feeling a little hand creep over his mouth. For someone who doesn’t go to shows, Mr says he really enjoyed it. I think the main thing for us though was seeing Little Man sat, hypnotised by the performers and lights.
My favourite characters though, by far, had to be Miley and Kylie. The ugly sisters. The panto dame has always been my favourite and these two were amazing! Their jokes were cheesy but some were hilarious. They fluffed their lines but had the audience in stitches with them. They absolutely made it what it is.
I don’t want to ruin the whole thing, though I could easily ramble on about it. There was one part of the show that really stood out though. Seeing Cinders quite literally flying across the stage on a giant swan was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen happen on a stage! And I’ve been to quite a few West End shows as well as pantos over the years.
Myself and Mr are still discussing how they actually managed to pull that one off.
We had a fantastic afternoon watching Cinderella at the Mercury Theatre Colchester and I would highly recommend going! It’s the perfect family show, with jokes to suit all ages.
You can book tickets by vising Mercury Theatre’s Website and Cinderella is running until the 5th of January 2020.
A massive thank you to the Mercury Theatre for inviting me along. You revived my Christmas spirit and my whole family enjoyed their afternoon. Even if Little Man did refuse to look at the camera!
Let me know if you make it to a panto this year. Which story is your favourite?