CINDERELLA_OP_Alasdair Buchan and Roddy Peters_as_Ugly Sisters_photo-Geraint-Lewis

Oxford Playhouse panto Cinderella was given a fresh perspective this year as the reins of Oxford’s most beloved annual institution were handed to new director Toby Hulse read about it here to give us a family-friendly Christmas we won’t forget!

And the children’s theatre aficionado didn’t disappoint, with a revamped Cinderella (Priscilla Grace) perfect for 2022 and a voice that soared to the rafters.


Yes, Cinderella is subservient to her two ugly sisters (enter the double dame fest that is Bellina (Alasdair Buchan) and Smellina (Roddy Peters) but instead of waiting for a handsome Prince to come and rescue her, forging a career in the music business and songwriting is her number one priority.

Way before the hapless Prince, who returns from university to find that Dandina (Alice Marshall), entrusted to run the kingdom in his absence, has bent the rules, taxed the country heavily and embarked on a huge materialistic shopping spree, blinging up the royal abode no end at the expense of his subjects (cue much booing).


Not only is he (Connor Wood) then tasked with winning back his subjects hearts, but that of Cinderella, who is so intent on being an independent woman, she’s unimpressed with his advances and proposals.

Of course this is pantomime so a happy ending, incredible singing, sweet throwing, pancake making, bawdy jokes, a video game maze, rapping mice headed up by Buttons (Philippa Carson) and a male fairy is pretty much par for the course.


And what Cinderella lacked in panto bawdiness it made up for in musicality and story-telling, as we wound our way to the grand finale, complete with Cinderella’s white trouser suit, the tempo gathering pace for a grand all-singing, all-dancing finale.

But then it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Oxford Playhouse panto!


Cinderella is at Oxford Playhouse until January 8. Tickets and info at