Well, the Forum Theatre in Billingham has certainly pulled it off this year with its annual Christmas pantomime of Disney favourite Cinderella.

I have been taking my children to the Forum Theatre panto for a number of years, but I don’t think there has ever been a performance quite as spectacular as this year’s offering.

The music, singing, sets and audience participation far-surpassed what was expected and left the audience hoarse and grinning from ear to ear as the final curtain fell on the two-hour show.

Funny-man Barnaby – a regular in the Forum Theatre panto – wrote and directed this year’s show, and played the role of Buttons splendidly well. He and the entire cast should be commended for giving a polished, fun, and energetic performance, particularly during the second half when it was end to end music, song and dance.

Lola Saunders, who made it through to the X Factor live shows in 2014, displayed her beautiful voice as lead role Cinderella, while actress Victoria Holtham returned to her home town of Billingham to impressively play the role of Fairy Godmother.

However, special mention has to go to the brilliant The Harper Brothers, Rob and Darren, who gave 110 per cent as the over-the-top, sassy Ugly sisters. The brothers, the sons of Bobby Ball, of Cannon and Ball fame, were supposed to be the baddies, but such was their performance that the audience couldn’t help but love them.

However, it was Paul Burnham, who played wicked stepmother Baroness Hardup, who perhaps stole the show. His booming voice, facial expressions and stage presence, along with his incredible make-up and styling, made the audience sit up to attention every time he walked on the stage. He was fantastic.

Kurtis Stacey, of Emmerdale Fame, was great as Dandini, and Ben Ryan-Davies, from Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road, was a great Prince Charming.

It was everything a panto should be and more. Get tickets if you can.

Karen Westcott