The stars of Pendle’s annual pantomime were in town on Saturday as Cinderella’s carriage stopped off in Colne.
The classic of classics and ever-popular fairytale returns to The Muni for the first time since 2010 under the stewardship of Barrowford’s George Critchley and his company PMA Productions Ltd.
George returns to Colne for the 20th consecutive year as an actor, and his 18th year as director and producer, and is delighted to be back once again.
George said: “I love the people from Pendle and the surrounding area. They have been so supportive of me, my company and the people I have employed as well.
“I really appreciate that support and it’s a privilege to be back. It’s brilliant and I’m thankful I am able to something that I love and am passionate about, performing and producing in what is an amazing theatre.
“Cinderella is the best selling pantomime in the UK. I believe that pound for pound this will be a much better show than in 2010.”
TV’s Jodie Hamblet, known for her roles in “Home Fires”, BAFTA-nominated “My Mad Fat Diary” and “Shameless”, stars as the Fairy Godmother; Samuel Pope who played Prince Valentine in last year’s panto will this time be Prince Charming, Hollyoaks’ Darren John Langford and comedy genius Keith De’ Winter play the parts of the two ugly sisters – Juanita and Conchita – Helen peters is the evil stepmother and Naomi Gisbey stars in the leading role as Cinderella.
Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without George himself, who will this time play the part of Buttons, and on top of all that, talented young dancers from East Lancs School of Dance (Colne) will be starring in the pantomime too.
Cinderella, the story of the put-upon young girl who meets a Prince, much to the annoyance of her horrible, evil stepmother and her two ugly sisters, is packed with plenty of talented professional actors, dancers, musical scores, beautiful costumes and sets, and enough jokes to make you smile all the way home.
A PMA production wouldn’t be complete without its unique aspects, and George has even managed to weave in a nod to Austria’s Eurovision winner of 2014, Conchita Wurst.
George added: “We have a wonderful Cinderella, a fantastic Prince, two excellent ugly sisters and stepmother and Jodie is very good and a lovely girl as the fairy Godmother.
“She grew up in Rawtenstall and is a local girl done good, currently filming a second series of ITV’s ‘Home Fires’. Casting is something I’m very proud of.
“Keith always has to shave his beard off for the pantomime, but this year he’s playing Conchita so we’ve worked out a way of keeping it. It’s going to be a case of Conchita, do your worst...
“I’m terms of the production, it’s going to be a mix of musical theatre and up to date pop numbers. It’s the right blend of quality, with jokes old and new that people will love told by actors with comedy timing, together with fabulous costumes and sets, supported by the East Lancs School of Dance (Colne).”
Naomi said: “I’m so excited, it’s a dream role. It’s the one I have always wanted to do and it’s my favourite Disney. I was always acting it out.
“Pantomimes are such an amazing British tradition and something that nobody else really understands. It’s what Christmas is all about and it works for people of all ages.”
Jodie said: “I’m the Fairy Godmother and I’m going to bring a slightly ditzy and Northern twist to the role. All the cast are lovely and I can’t wait to get started.”
So, will the wicked stepmother and sister trio prevent the union of the gracious Cinderella and her beau? Or will they marry and live happily ever after?
Tickets for this spectacular musical comedy pantomime will be like gold dust so make sure you buy yours soon to find out.
Cinderella will be on stage at The Muni in Colne from Saturday, January 2nd, until Sunday, January 17th 2016. For tickets, go to www.themuni.co.uk or call the box office on 661234.