Panto fans in for a ball as Cinderella comes to Hartlepool

Pantomime fans are in for a ball when Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre stages Cinderella this Christmas.

The classic fairytale will be brought to life by a cast of professional actors.

Cinderella (Michelle Roberts) with her Ugly Sisters Joshua Handley (left) and Sean Hynes, outside the Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool.  Picture by Frank Reid

Cinderella (Michelle Roberts) with her Ugly Sisters Joshua Handley (left) and Sean Hynes, outside the Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool. Picture by Frank Reid

Colourful characters from the show donned their costumes yesterday as tickets went on sale.

Cinderella is played by Michelle Roberts while making her life hell are Joshua Handley and Sean Hynes as the Ugly Sisters.

Sean said: “We’ve got a great cast lined up. It’s going to be great fun all round.

“Josh and I have been doing panto back down in Essex where we live, playing goodies predominantly but baddies are more fun.

Cinderella's Ugly Sisters Sean Hynes (left) and Joshua Handley on stage at the Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID

Cinderella's Ugly Sisters Sean Hynes (left) and Joshua Handley on stage at the Town Hall Theatre, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

“The thing I love about panto is the breaking the fourth wall, just being able to interact with the audience and the feedback you get.”

Michelle, who lives in Gloucester, promised “the most magical pantomime in the whole world” with singing, dancing, magic and true love.

Summing up what she loves about panto she said: “The faces of the kids when they’re enjoying the show and whole families coming together.

“I think every child should see a panto at Christmas, it’s theatre, it’s getting the kids seeing live entertainment and it’s keeping the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of theatre alive.

“And we have a lot of fun as well.”

Sean added: “It’s for the whole family, not just the kids. There are things that go over the kids heads for the parents and the kids just love everything else so it’s good fun.”

Despite being old hands when it comes to pantomime, it is the principal cast’s first time performing in Hartlepool.

Michelle, who also entertains as a professional mermaid, added: “I grew up in Blackpool so I like my seaside towns.

“It is my first time in Hartlepool but it is a beautiful place.”

David Worthington, Hartlepool Borough Council’s head of culture, said: “It’s a beautiful venue, we have got a top panto and I think the people of Hartlepool will really enjoy it.”

Cinderella is produced by Elite Pantomimes who were responsible for last year’s Aladdin which was named Runner Up for Best Pantomime in the North East by the North East Theatre Guide.

It is on at the theatre in Raby Road from December 14 to 31. Tickets are priced at £14 for adults and £12 for children until Thursday, August 30.