Justin Fletcher as Buttons. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
Justin Fletcher as Buttons. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
 

Screaming children will tell you who is the star of this year’s panto, Cinderella, at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre.

From the first moment Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble from Cbeebies drives on to the stage as Buttons, the little ones are out of their seats waving, shouting, laughing and, of course, screaming.

Their hype is justified as Fletcher really does hold the show together with silly humour that has the little ones in raptures, while the older ones are satisfied with some in-jokes and a nod and a wink here and there.

Starring opposite Fletcher in the title role is former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon, who looks the part in the rags to riches tale, while comedian Hal Crittenden is great as Dandini, almost competing with Fletcher in the laughter stakes.

Zoe Salmon as Cinderella. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
Zoe Salmon as Cinderella. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
 

For those unfamiliar with the storyline, poor Cinderella is invited to a ball thanks to her Fairy Godmother (here played by stage veteran Zoe Curlett) providing her with gown, horse and carriage and glass slippers, all of which will disappear at midnight.

But after falling for Prince Charming (Liam Tamne), Cinderella has to do a runner when the clock strikes twelve, leaving behind one of her glass slippers, which is the only clue the prince has to find his love.

Musical numbers are as bombastic and well-chosen as ever and stealing the singing show is Charming’s Tamne.

Tamne starred recently as a contestant in BBC1’s The Voice and it is obvious how talented he is vocally. He is head and shoulders above the others and often drowns out Salmon during the duets. His best moment comes in a cover of Passenger’s Let Her Go, which showcases his range to the full.

Dave Lynn and Jason Sutton. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
Dave Lynn and Jason Sutton. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
 

But panto for children is all about the big laughs and it’s Fletcher and Crittenden (whose resemblance to each other is played on with a neat little subplot) who lead the way, ably assisted by the Ugly Sisters Miley and Tulisa (Dave Lynn and Jason Sutton), whose numerous garish costumes manage to outdo each previous one.

One scene in particular, featuring Fletcher, Lynn, Sutton and the Ghostbusters theme tune, is a standout with a brilliant punchline.

Fletcher also shows his ad lib talents when he gets children up on stage to play a singing game with him. The little ones are obviously in awe of the Cbeebies star and meeting him is an experience they will never forget.

Cinderella is perfect family entertainment full of songs, dance routines and laughter - the ideal way to get in the spirit of Christmas.

Liam Tamne as Prince Charming. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
Liam Tamne as Prince Charming. Photo credit: Ian Olsson
 

Cinderella is at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, until January 5, 2014. Go here for more information on times and ticket prices .