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Energetic panto cast blast away the winter blues

Rebecca Munday, Em Parkinson, Kirsty Lauder and Helen Parkinson as the maids in Greenbrook Panto Society's Cinderella.
Rebecca Munday, Em Parkinson, Kirsty Lauder and Helen Parkinson as the maids in Greenbrook Panto Society's Cinderella.
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If you are still suffering from the January blues then take a trip to Burnley's Greenbrook Methodist Church.

Greenbrook Pantomime Society's panto production of Cinderella will blast the blues away in an instant.

This year the group have gone for a traditional tale with a modern twist in a show that is written and directed by Edward P Munday.

Packed with an array of chart topping hits, from Beyonce and Boyzone to Take That and ELO, the show bursts into life with a cast rendition of Mr Blue Sky that sets the tone for the night.

Abigail Hargreaves plays the title role to perfection as the downtrodden servant girl who actually rather enjoys all the menial tasks she is given to do by her mean stepmother and the cook, played by Elaine Morris.

Elaine throws herself wholeheartedly into the role of the lazy and with a voice that could shatter glass she has quite a stage presence.

Teamed with Edward P Munday and Robert Bennett as her daughters, Chillianna and Pepperina, the trio grab some of the funniest scenes of the night, particularly the chaotic cake making scene which ends with one very burnt offering.

Edward and Robert are hilarious as the "ugly sisters," who are desperate to win the affections of Prince William who, thanks to James Hargreaves, is played as a daft but lovable young who lad.

When William meets Cinderella the pair fall instantly in love, even though she thinks he is a footman and he isn't quite sure who she is!

And it adds to the chemistry between the lovebirds that they are a married couple in real life. And adding to the family element, Debbie Hargreaves, who is James' mum in real life, plays his mother, Queen Penelope, in the show.

The role of Buttons is played by James Seymour and I have to say he is brilliant!

He was in almost every scene and held the thread of the story together as narrator and main character. The audience are kept abreast of events when Buttons snaps his fingers and everything else around him stops and he chats away to us with quips, anecdotes and songs.

Brenda Murray shone as the housekeeper, Mrs Magee and secret fairy godmother and the crew of maids played by Em Parkinson, Kirsty Lauder. Helen Ingham and Rebecca Munday were excellent.

And congratulations to all the younger chorus who were full of zest and enthusiasm. And the scene with Mrs Magee and the tots dressed as a mice who help her to clean the kitchen was adorable and one of my favourites.

Special mention must also go to the set designers who did a tremendous job with a revolving turret and cups and plates that moved at the wave of a wand, it was quite magical to watch.

So much time, effort, imagination and work goes into these shows and I am delighted to say the audience was almost full and very appreciative of the show.

The players on stage obviously love it and that rubs off on the audience so if you need cheering up and you fancy watching a really good pantomime I would highly recommend Greenbrook's Cinderella.

Other cast members include Darren Brierley (King Tenpence) Lee Atkinson (Jacob) Nathann Prendergast (Joshua)

The chorus were: Olivia Hirst, Olivia Brooker-Carey, Britteny Wilson, Leah Walsh, Grace Astin, Emily Greenall, Lydia Giy, Amelia Hirst, Evie Kelly, Evie Cullen, Darcey Hirst, Tilly Johnson, Grace Evans, Rianna MacMahon -Sethi, Marcie MacMahon-Sethi, Ruby Cryer, Elsie Moggeridge, Poppy Hall, Evie Greenall, Abigail Riley, Gaby Riley.

*The show runs until Saturday, January 27th and there are still tickets left but they are selling fast. For ticket prices and availability please ring 01282 426889.