Great Cinderella panto at Eastbourne’s Hippodrome

From: Gerry Hart, Station Road, Berwick

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 3:26 pm

I’ve lived in or around the Eastbourne area for 50 years.

I don’t think I’m a ‘culture vulture’, but neither a philistine when it comes to art. Having said that, I ventured to the Royal Hippodrome Theatre for my first visit, to a pantomime, Cinderella, accompanying seven-year-old Lucie. Theatre is not high on my list of entertainment choices.

I telephoned for tickets, expecting to get fleeced, I didn’t even ask the price. If it’s for Lucie, who cares!

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Amazed when paying by Visa to hear the price was £8 each, with Kevin ‘free’ as a necessary carer. (This was all that was available when I booked, but there are better seats at higher prices, all sold).

I thought, this’ll be grim. Au contraire. Driving along Seaside Road, the throngs of families waiting to go in was amazing. Loads of kids in fancy dress, all revved up in anticipation.

The theatre inside was beautiful, spotlessly clean and staffed mainly by volunteers, all smiling, happy and doing everything to ensure patrons had a good time. No ‘C’ list celebs on show, just really good actors, singers and dancers. Ugly sisters as they should be, big, ridiculous hairdos and make-up, and ever more outrageous costumes as the show progressed. The children loved it and screamed the correct responses like old hands. There were enough bawdy and double entendre jokes delivered with sufficient subtlety to amuse the adults.

Both lead characters, Cinderella and the Prince, had terrific voices and the whole performance was slick and to be honest, one of the best I’ve ever attended.

There were collection buckets on exit for anyone who felt inclined to donate. We certainly felt inclined and happily did so.

Apparently, this cast is coming back in the spring to perform Rapunzel and as Lucie latched on to this prospect, I guess I’ll be back.

It’s worth a try to see if you can get in.