City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Cinderella Pantomime, The Brunton, Review


By Irene Brown - Posted on 28 November 2015

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Cinderella at Brunton Theatre MED RES 09.jpg
Show Details
Venue: 
The Brunton
Company: 
Brunton Theatre
Production: 
Robin Peoples (set & costume design), Mark Cox (writer and director), Lesley Smith (producer), Rhian Reynolds (choreographer ), David Goodall (composer & musical arranger) , Linda Barbour and Tommie Travers (musical directors) , Alberto Santo Bellido (lighting design), Garry Boyle/Archie Baird (sound)
Performers: 
Kirsty Halliday (Cinderella), Richard Conlon (Dougaleena), Mark McDonnell (Grizelda), Sean Hay (Baron Dougall of Scoughall and Posh Butler), Derek McGhie (Buttons) Blair Robertson (Prince Jamie of Joppa), Shonagh Price (Fairy Wulma), Keith McLeish (Andy the Manservant) Youth ChorusYouth Chorus Group 4 (Josh Marshall ,Georgie Michalakis, Tiegan McIntyre, Paige McKinlay , Niamh Rayfield , Erin Robertson, Elise Wilkinson, Hope Wilson)
Running time: 
120mins

The well-known tale of Cinderella has been adapted in fine local style for this year’s Brunton Panto by Mark Cox, best known as tight-fisted Tam Mullen from Still Game.

Baron Dougall of Scoughall (Sean Hay) is skint. The coffers of his Musselburgh castle have been emptied by his greedy step daughters Dougaleena (Richard Conlon) and Grizelda (Mark McDonnell ) who, when not demanding to be served hand, foot and nose by the Baron’s real daughter turned skivvy, Cinderella (Kirsty Halliday), spend their time amassing dresses and debt. If only he could get at least one of them married off!

Enter Prince Jamie of Joppa (Blair Robertson) whose playboy days are coming to an end as he seeks a bride. He and his old pal turned servant, Andy (Keith McLeish) decide to host a ball at Joppa Castle where he can chose the girl of his dreams from all of East Lothian as she dances to the DJ, lingers at the finger buffet or gorges from the chocolate fountain. Will Cinderella make it to the ball with the help of her godmother Fairy Wulma (Shonagh Price) or will she stay at home with her lovesick pal Buttons Buttons Buttons (Derek McGhie)?

Mark Cox has written a gallus, cheeky, locally rooted and utterly Scottish work that’s full of traditional pantomime anachronisms such as interweb (sic) shopping, radio, supermarkets and comic parodies of chart songs and is written in robust local Scots. The result is two hours of madcap fun that plays to its strengths of esoteric local jokes with great style. The slightly shoogly scenery with its bright colours gives a bit of a haun knittit look, but what it lacks in sophistication it more than gains in couthie charm. The costumes are beautifully put together and the transformation of the pumpkin to a coach at the close the first act is piece of real magic with the WOW factor with the children’s chorus in animal onesies giving a nod to Disney’s version of the ancient fairy tale.

In a well-cast ensemble Shonagh Price sparkles as the Fairy who evokes magic and happy memories for Cinderella of the likes of arm wrestling with her late mother while Sean Hay brings the weight of his vast experience to his roles as both anxious and henpecked Baron and Posh Butler. Richard Conlon and Mark McDonnell as the gross and grotesque Sisters are again proving to be a great villainous double act that counters Blair Robertson’s smooth, teeth glinting Prince, Keith McLeish’s faithful buddy turned batman, Derek McGhie’s naïve, exuberant Buttons and Kirsty Halliday’s demure Cinderella.

The Brunton auditorium is big enough to allow some serious noise from an eager audience but wee enough to accommodate sweetie flingin and jinin in with the panto song at the end when the audience takes their cue from Buttons and the Prince by having a big hearty sing aff.

Like all good pantos, Cinderella has a happy ending with redemption added for good measure. Along with its easy going inclusion this production has all the ingredients needed for a great time out with family and friends of all ages

One of the signs in the Musselburgh woods says Auld Reekie is “a world away” but it’s just down the road and the journey is worth slipping off your slippers (glass or otherwise), fastening up the buttons (buttons buttons) of your overcoat, grabbing a coach (pumpkin or otherwise) and getting yersel doun tae the Honest Toun for some real Scottish panto fun.

Tue 24 November 2015 - Sat 2 January 2016 Audio described Tue 15 Dec at 7pm and BSL interpreted Fri 18 Dec at 7pm.
Autism Friendly performance – Mon 28 Dec at 1pm. Adjustments will be made to create a friendly and supportive atmosphere for people with autism and their families.