Mansfield Palace Theatre prepares for Cinderella’s opening night

Cinderella rehearsals at the Palace Theatre, Mansfield.'The Fairy God Mother, Ruth Maddox in rehearsal.
Cinderella rehearsals at the Palace Theatre, Mansfield.'The Fairy God Mother, Ruth Maddox in rehearsal.

Cinderella will once again be waving its magical wand over audiences at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre this Christmas.

Back by popular demand, tickets are selling out fast for UK Production’s traditional fairy tale which will see stars Ruth Madoc and Dave Benson-Phillips light up the stage.

Preparations are well under way for Cinderella’s opening night on 30th November but already around 80 per cent of tickets have been sold.

Chad caught up with some of the cast during blocking rehearsals on 20th November.

It was great to see what goes into the making of the show before all the glitz and glamour is added.

Director Andrew Ryan relayed his vision of how each scene should play out and how cast members should move across the stage.

Andrew, who has previous experience of being a pantomime Dane, also wrote the script.

There will be magic galore for audiences as the cast have a few tricks rolled up their sleeve, including the appearance of The Sensational Shetland Ponies live on stage.

When the show last visited the Palace, sound equipment recorded the equivalent noise of two jumbo jets made by the audience, and the cast are hoping to create a similar response in a few day’s time.

Ruth Madoc, best known for TV show Hi-De-Hi, returns to the Palace after 20 years with former children’s entertainer Dave Benson-Phillips.

The Hi-De-Hi star will be playing the fairy Godmother with Dave taking the popular panto role of Buttons.

Ruth said: “It’s lovely to see how much they have done to the theatre.

“I am really looking forward to reacquainting myself with Mansfield.”

Joining Dave and Ruth are Martine McMenemy, in the lead role of Cinderella, Jamie-Ray Hartshorne as Prince Charming and Bobby Kent and Anthony West as The Ugly Sisters.

After performing in The Palace Theatre’s Cinderella six years ago, former Get Your Own Back presenter, Dave Benson-Phillips spoke of his excitement at playing the character of Buttons once again in Mansfield.

He said: “I had a great time the last time I was here, it is the most amazing thing. It is the first time in my career where I have gone back to do a performance and I am so looking forward to playing Buttons again, out of all the panto roles I have done it is by far my favourite.

“When I first started off in panto I was told I would never be a lead character so imagine my surprise when I was selected to play Buttons and asked to come and play the part for a second time.

“To play Buttons is something I have always wanted to do, I am a children’s entertainer, it’s what I do, if I handle the role right and get a good reaction from the crowd it is a great feeling and I love the team spirit of working with the rest of the cast. The whole atmosphere is amazing.”

Cinderella finishes on 5th January. To book tickets call the box office on 01623 633133. Look out for further details, updates and announcements in your Chad over the coming month.