IT may be the end of January, but it's still panto season in Christchurch as the ever popular Highcliffe Charity Players take to the stage.

Theatregoers of all ages are cordially invited to polish off their pumpkins and dust off their ballgowns to enjoy this year's classic production of Cinderella.

We join Prince Charming as he hosts the party of the year in search of his one true love. Will he succeed before the clock strikes twelve? Will the hilarious Ugly Sisters steal his heart? Or will the Fairy Godmother ensure we all live happily ever after?

We all know how the story ends, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

This award-winning company always put on a good show, and this year's panto is no exception. Fast-paced, full of all the dad jokes, local gags, audience participation and the touch of sparkle you'd expect from a pantomime.

Olivia Reeks made a lovely Cinderella, while John-Luke Greenacre was, er charming as Prince Charming - both showing off impressive vocal skills. Malcolm George was right at home playing the lovable Buttons and did a great job of getting the audience involved.

Harry Young and Stan Smith made for a fabulously outrageous pairing as ugly sisters Danni and Fanny, while Georgia Carter added a touch of magic as the Fairy Godmother. Matt Morrell and Emma Barrington put in great performances as Baron Hardup and Dandini respectively, with a beautifully touching duet from Charlee Doherty and Ellie Wells as Cinderella's Mother and Young Cinderella.

The show is just one act, but you certainly don't feel short-changed - it's packed with vibrant costumes, upbeat song and dance numbers, and a host of talented local youngsters for the aaaah factor.

It's clear the cast are having a ball on stage, and the feeling is infectious, with the appreciative audience giving the show a rousing reception.

Another great production from Highcliffe Charity Players (oh yes it is!).

Cinderella is at the Regent Centre in Christchurch until Sunday, January 29.