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Comic trio Alan McHugh, Elaine C Smith and Jordan Young have developed a rapport with the Aberdeen audiences during their five-year reign, with a combination of local knowledge and traditional panto humour being their forte.

This trademark style is evident again as writer McHugh takes on the role as an ugly sister, joined by Iain Stuart Robertson, who provides a match to McHugh's now familiar dame. Jordan Young is ideally suited to play the feckless Buttons and has the funniest scene in the production, in which he tries with hilarious consequence to prevent Cinderella and the prince's first kiss.

Smith gives a strong performance as Fairy Mary and is hilarious in her roles as Rod Stewart, "Gladys McKnight" and Adele. However, Scottish stage favourite Barbara Rafferty seems ill at ease as the less than wicked stepmother, with her script failing to strike the balance between villainy and comedy.

Gillian Parkhouse as Cinderella and Ross William Wild as Prince Charming are strong, and provide all the necessary elements for a solid family show.

The set and lighting are simple, and the pyrotechnics and special effects are minimal - not what audiences have come to expect of the north-east of Scotland's biggest Christmas production.

Overall, this is good family entertainment, but it needs a sprinkle of stage magic to live up to its billing that the Cinderella story is the greatest panto of them all.

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