A real life 'fairy tale' ending has seen actress Alice Fillary go from facing Christmas out of work to playing Cinderella in this year's pantomime at Windsor's Theatre Royal.

Alice said: "I had been supposed to play Snow White at a theatre in Essex when it was all cancelled because of the pandemic."

But two real life 'fairy godmothers' were waiting in the wings - the Windsor theatre's co-directors Anne-Marie and Jon Woodley.

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Alice said: "I know Anne Marie and Jon and they let me know about auditions for Cinderella.

"I thought there was no way I would get it.

"Because of social distancing each audition had to be separate and I only got a glimpse of one of the other girls after the part. I could not believe it when I got it."

Dominic Sibanda who is playing Prince Charming at Windsor thinks he must have a fairy godmother of his own.

He said: "Half a year with no auditions and no job, so this is great."

Many theatres have had to cancel panto plans this year.

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Anne-Marie Woodley said: “After such a difficult year for all of us, we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support of our audiences and are thrilled to be able to repay their kindness by finding a way to present our much-loved pantomime.

"It goes without saying that the safety of our audiences, staff and performers is paramount and we will be following government advice at all times.

"With social distanced seating in place to ensure the safety of our audiences, this will limit the usual number of seats available. So we are adding an additional week of performances so as many people as possible can come and experience that panto magic."

The show will feature four returning Windsor favourites - calamitous comedian Kevin Cruise and dotty Dame Steven Blakeley in their 11th year in Panto together at Theatre Royal - plus everyone's favourite fox Basil Brush and legendary movie star and 1970s Bond girl Britt Ekland.

The show will run from Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, January 10.

Box office is 01753 853888 from 10.30am to 6.15pm - or book online.