Theatre Royal Winchester’s Panto Dame surprises Paris Smith solicitors

November 9, 2023

Theatre Royal Winchester’s resident pantomime dame surprised staff at a regional law firm this week in the run-up to this year’s traditional family pantomime, Cinderella.

Fairy Kind-heart paid a visit to Paris Smith to say thank you to the firm on behalf of Play to the Crowd (the charity that runs Theatre Royal Winchester) for supporting this year’s pantomime.

The team based in Parchment Street, in Winchester city centre, were left gobsmacked when the dame walked in, towering over them in a bright red and gold gown with puffball sleeves, bow detail and gold star embellishments, a white beehive and gold knee-high boots.

Outside the firm’s offices, the dame – played by actor Julian Eardley – posed for photos with senior partner, Peter Taylor, and managing partner, Huw Miles – causing passers-by to stop for a second glance and to talk about the festive season and upcoming pantomime.

Kirstie Mathieson, Communications and Development Director of Play to the Crowd, said: ‘We are so thankful to Paris Smith for their investment in us, we wanted to spread a little festive joy throughout their offices. As predominantly a receiving house, the pantomime is the one show we produce ourselves and we are incredibly proud of it. Thanks to Huw and team at Paris Smith for their ongoing support.  Cinderella is on track to be our most successful pantomime to date – if you haven’t booked your tickets yet don’t delay!’

Cinderella is the rags to riches story of a servant girl whose Fairy Godmother transforms her into a beautiful princess to go to the ball to meet the handsome Prince. But when the clock strikes 12 she must flee, leaving the Prince to search his kingdom for her – with only the help of her glass slipper!

The theatre’s pantomime is suitable for all ages and is packed with corny jokes, original songs, live music and audience participation. It is produced by Play to the Crowd and comes from the same creative team behind previous years’ pantomimes including Beauty and the Beast, Dick Whittington and last year’s record breaking The Wizard of Oz – the award-nominated pairing – writer, director and lyricist James Barry, with music by Simon Slater.

There will be a number of accessible performances including relaxed, audio-described and BSL-interpreted; plus, a touch tour. Audiences will also be able to livestream the show to watch at home, meaning everyone can enjoy the show in an environment right for them.

Cinderella will be at Theatre Royal Winchester from Thursday 30 November 2023 to Monday 01 January 2024 at various times. The livestream, watch at home, option is available on Friday 15 December at 7pm and Friday 29 December at 2.30pm. For more information or to book tickets visit or call 01962 840 440.

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