RECORD attendances saw this year’s Christmas pantomime become the best attended panto at Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre.

The pantomime saw 90 per cent of seats sold, and almost 28,800 people watched the production in total.

With the final curtain dropping on January 6, the production was hailed as a huge success by audiences and all those involved.

Ian Knowles, theatre manager at the civic, was delighted with sales and was full of praise for his cast.

He said: “The figures are sensational and reflect how much time, dedication and love everyone at the civic puts into the panto to make sure that all the audience go home enthralled by the show.

“Each year we out do ourselves with our panto - it just keeps getting better and better.

“Our next panto will be Peter Pan and I am amazed that already we have sold 21 per cent of seats and that some shows have sold-out even before Cinderella had ended.”

Cinderella, which ended on Sunday 6 January, starred Caitlin Rutter, in her first principle role since graduating from the well-renowned Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom.

Caitlin has previously appeared at the Civic Theatre as a student debuting in Jack and The Beanstalk.

Other familiar faces in this year’s panto included the comedic Louie Westwood, who played Ugly Sister Maureen, Richard Foster-King as Ugly Sister Chlorine, and Abigail Carter-Simpson as the Fairy Godmother.

One attendee, Sue Barker, 45, said: “It really was fantastic.

“We have been going to the panto in Chelmsford for years and years, and this is easily one of the best we have attended.

“As always, it was great fun for the whole family, and my kiddies absolutely loved it.

“My youngest is four, and oldest is 11, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed it.”

There was even a scene stealing special appearance from two Shetland ponies who took Cinderella to the ball in her sparkling coach.

Social media was full of praise for Cinderella with comments including “Fantastic, been twice in the week and would go again”, “Not a famous face in sight, but they did a better job anyway” and “The best yet”.

Producers One From The Heart in association with Chelmsford Civic Theatre, will bring another action-packed panto, Peter Pan, to the theatre from November 29 to January 5, 2020.

For more information on performance times and to book tickets call the Box Office on 01245 606505 or book online at

Cinderella was sponsored by M&G Investments.