Cinderella’s panto story is a fairytale favourite

Jade Natalie and Carl Tracey with Matilda Bould
Jade Natalie and Carl Tracey with Matilda Bould

At the strike of 12, panto stars surprised nursery pupils with a special visit.

The cast of Cinderella, this year’s Preston Charter Theatre pantomime, took time out from their preparations to meet children at Little Rascals Nursery in the city and to talk about the production.

Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph with Eilee Smith

Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph with Eilee Smith

Playing Buttons, St Annes-based comedian Phil Walker - who writes and directs the Guild Hall’s festive special for a fourth year - introduced his co-stars: Jade Natalie and Carl Tracey as Cinderella and Prince Charming; Blackpool-based ugly sisters Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph; former Tower Circus star Charlie Cairoli Jr as Baron Hardup; Canadian comedian Allyson June Smith as the Fairy Godmother and Cold Feet actor Jack Harper as Dandini.

“I’m really excited to be doing Cinderella,” Phil said. “It’s my personal favourite; it has everything and it’s a wonderful story.

“As Buttons I’m more involved in the story than usual, and get to do some real acting rather than just playing the fool.

“Cinderella is such a good story, they’re not usually any big special effects, but we have something spectacular planned and are introducing an effect which has never been seen before on stage - it’s going to be spectacular.”

Jamie and Tarot starred in the Grand Theatre’s production of Cinderella last Christmas, and are thrilled to be staying local again this year. “It’s a bit of a luxury to be able to stay at home again and put a Christmas tree up,” Jamie said.

Phil signed up the double act up for the city show after seeing them in action at the Grand - and their nomination as ‘best uglies’ in the British Pantomime Awards.

Tickets on sale now.