The ultimate pantomime – Cinderella – is this year’s Christmas cracker at Exeter Corn Exchange.
Exeter actor Daniel Page, who stole the show last year as the delightfully hissable villain Abanazer in Aladdin, is back by popular demand, this time playing one of the Ugly Sisters, Vile-lette.
Daniel has worked all over the country as a professional actor, including his dream role of Fagin in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal in Windsor and four years in the Billy Elliot company.
His first stage experiences were during his school years in Exeter at Whipton Barton and St Peter’s, and his first pantomime was Babes in Wonford Wood more than 20 years ago.
Daniel says he’s pleased to be playing a baddie in pantomime again.
“Everyone loves a villain,” says Daniel. “Having a good balance between being mean and getting what’s coming to you means the
audience can laugh at and respond
“If they’re booing, then you know you’re half way to getting it right.”
The title role is played by Swedish beauty Alicia Agneson, who has never appeared in pantomime before.
“In Sweden we don’t have them,” she says.
“We actually don’t have any other sort of theatre where you have such an interaction between the audience and the performers, and I’m enjoying it a lot.
“I’ve always loved the stage and felt that it’s the only real home for me. As a young girl I did dream about being a princess. And still do!
“That’s what’s so amazing with this job as a musical performer, I get to be a princess!”
The company is completed by Kaine Horey as Prince Buttons, Jon Bonner as Ugly Sister Moronica, Mark Osmond as Baron Hardup,
Abi Meller as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Harry Stone as Dandini and Will Trafford as Vermin.
Writer and director Ian Trafford for producers Kickline Theatre says that part of the enduring appeal of panto is that the stories are so well known.
“Yet audiences can still share in the characters’ victories and cheer the downfall of the villains, even though perhaps we think we know how it’s all going to end.
“This is probably doubly true for Cinderella, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun with the plot.”
Cinderella is at Exeter Corn Exchange until January 5. For more information visit cinderella-exeter.co.uk.