FAMILY REVIEW: Cinderella at Derby Arena 2016 - Derby Days Out Blog

Well we had a great time at Derby’s biggest ball!

Cinderella at Derby Arena did not disappoint the DerbyDaysOut family! It had all of the panto fun that you’d expect - jam packed full of musical numbers, dancing, scene changes and of course lots and lots of laughs!

Stunning costumes, fantastic scenery and special effects all combine with great performances to create the perfect panto experience. We definitely recommend going to see it this Christmas.

Here’s what we thought of the main characters:

The Fairy God Mother (or God Mammy!) played by Eilish O’Carroll

The fairy godmammy is a cheeky, feisty and wise fairy. On hand with her rhymes and magic she ensured things went according to plan – well, most of the time!

Photo credit: Robert Day

Cinderella played by Cara Dudgeon

Poor Cinders is sweet, kind and loveable. Her singing is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and her dancing is fantastic!

Photo credit: Robert Day

Buttons played by Richard Blackwood

Buttons is absolutely hilarious with his one liners, impressions, dancing and cheeky charm. Out of ten we give him a SEVEN!! (Panto joke - it's a ten really!)

Photo credit: Robert Day

Prince Charming played by Aston Dobson

The dashing Prince is as charming and as handsome as you’d hope for with a great voice too! Listen out for his belting rendition of Purple Rain.

Dandini played by Lloyd Warbey

Lovely, loyal Dandini is the Prince’s right hand man, always ready to step in to help Charming. All he wants is for the Prince to be happy – oh and a bit of PVA glue!

Lav and Lou played by Dean Horner and Oliver Gray

The, ahem… ‘gorgeous’ 😬 step sisters are the perfectly played panto villains. Be prepared with your boos and hisses as you see them treat their poor step sister Cinders like dirt…BOOOOO!

DDO Family Thoughts

Mum Natalie's thoughts:

“For some festive family time – this is ideal! The panto is great entertainment for all ages with plenty going on to keep everyone happy. I personally loved the little references to Derby villages and local landmarks. Hearing the Fairy God Mammy refer to my old stomping ground - Spondon - was one of my highlights!”

Daughter Lola’s thoughts:

“I loved it! It was funny and I liked the story too. My favourite was Buttons because he made me laugh the most and also the ugly step sisters! The best part was the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ scene. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt! The snow at the end was cool.”

Dad Adam's thoughts:

“The show has everything you want from a panto; great acting, singing, dancing, jokes, slapstick and plenty of audience participation. Oh no there isn’t, oh yes there is! (Sorry, it seems panto fever has taken hold of me!)”

'Cheeky Cinders Selfie!'

Good to know:

The pantomime is on until 3rd January 2017.

Tickets cost £13.25 - £30.25.

There are relaxed performances, captioned performances, audio described and BSL signed performances too.

Paid parking is available at Derby Arena.

There are plenty of refreshments available to purchase including hot food from Cafe42.

Outside the seating area there’s an array of ‘flashy things’ to buy!

The programme (£3) has some activities in it such as a word search and spot the difference which can keep the younger ones entertained whilst you wait for the show to start or during the interval.

Use #DerbyCinders on social media and also #CindersDerbyDiary for some behind the scene morsels from Cara Dudgeon aka Cinderella.

More information and online booking:


Please note that this is a true account of our family experience however we cannot guarantee that you will have the same experiences. 


We really hope that you find this website useful in helping you plan a family day out. Whilst we try our absolute hardest to ensure all of the information is correct and up to date, we highly recommend you call ahead of any planned visit to check opening times and prices etc. We don't want any disappointed families! (Oh and check the weather before you set off!) 

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