The well-loved story of Cinderella needs no introduction.

This production was full of dynamic and entertaining characters: a lively, feisty, excitable Cinderella (Flic Jolie), mesmerizingly-wicked stepmother (Megan Green), charismatically charming Prince (Julie Wood), marvellously garish Ugly Sisters (Terry Smyth, Callum West), majestic Queen (Sharon Morris) and engaging narrators holding it all together (Dan Finch, Mark Wakeman).

Wakeman’s original script was faithful to the original, but also successfully included delightful, new characters, not least the wonderfully funny Ruth Prior as an octogenarian suitor, Princess Sasha!

It didn’t matter that there were no songs or dance routines, although at times the actors needed to be careful not to talk under the enthusiastic audience’s vocal reactions.

With a pantomime acted this well, directed at an excellent pace and with fabulously painted, clever storybook scenery, exuberant costumes and a cast clearly having a ball, this was an afternoon of magical entertainment for all the family.

Cinderella, The Bench Theatre The Spring & Arts Centre, Havant.

Anne Waggott