City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Cinderella, King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Review


By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 08 December 2017

5
Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Andy Gray in Cinderella at the King's Theatre, Ediinburgh
Show Details
Venue: 
King's Theatre
Company: 
Qdos Entertainment
Production: 
Michael Harrison & Allan Stewart (writers), Ed Curtis (director), Stillie Dee (choreograher), Ian Westbrook 3D creations (Set design), The Twins FX (visual effects), Richard Brooker (Sound), Le Maitre (pyrotechnics), Mike Coltman (speciality costumes), Flying by Foy Ltd (Flying).
Performers: 
Allan Stewart (Fairy May), Andy Gray (Buttons), Grant Stott (Baroness Hardup), Gillian Parkhouse (Cinderella), James Darch (Prince Charming), Andrew Darch (Dundini), Clare Gray (Ruth), Maureen Carr (Nicola). Plus ensemble of dancers, actors, singers. The Babes (Edinburgh Dance Academy). The Orchestra - Musical director, Andy Pickering.
Running time: 
120mins

Yes, folks it’s Panto time again. The fabulous Festive family show at the King’s, Edinburgh once again stars the inimitable trio – Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Andy Gray - in another colourful, crazy, camp Christmas caper.

First a little literary history: The earliest recorded version of Cinderella is a Chinese tale by Tuan Ch'eng-shih in the mid 9th century. The heroine, Yeh-shen has a magical fish and a golden shoe leads her to find the Prince. The famous French version by Charles Perrault writtten in 1697 features a fairy godmother, pumpkin carriage, animal servants and glass slippers. As the story was re-told and translated over the centuries, it is thought that "vair" (French for fur) was confused with "verre" (French for glass) and so the tradition began of Cinderella being given glass slippers for the Ball.

Cinderella, 2017: From curtain up, we are thrown straight into the drama with the buxom, brash Baroness Hibernia Hardup in her tightly corseted gown and beehive hair-do. She is one nasty lady not to be messed with, who proudly boasts she is “pure dead evil,” with a deep throaty cackle. With a few football jibes about Hibs and Hearts, the scene is firmly set in Edinburgh for an hilarious retelling of the story. As the audience heckles with boos and hisses, the Baroness strides off shouting, “I ken where yous live!” with a threatening gesture and glare.

We then meet her two daughters, the eccentrically dressed Ruth and Nicola: unlike their namesakes at Holyrood, they are best mates as they boss and bully their step sister, Cinderella. Treated like a servant to do all the chores, the sweet young girl needs all the help she can get. Enter her glamorous Godmother, Fairy May, assisted by the cheeky chappie, Buttons, zooming around the stage on a Segway.

Expect sharp, slick and high speed action all the way: a madcap medley of pop song lyrics, slapstick fights and comic sketches - but, cleverly and crucially, the narrative never loses touch with the romantic heart of the classic story. To keep it fresh and contemporary, the script is peppered with local jokes and topical news. When the handsome Prince Charming first meets Cinderella, Fairy May comments drily, “A Prince and an Actress – that could never happen!!”

Pantomime is of course for children and all the elements of Perrault’s fairy tale are preserved - dancing pumpkins, furry animals, a parade of toy soldiers, gorgeous costumes and glittering glass slippers. No plot spoiler here but there are moments of true magic where the adults (let alone the kids) are spellbound at the theatrical wizardry when Cinderella sets off in her horse-drawn coach to the Prince’s Ball at the Palace.

The marvellous cast of actors, dancers, singers, little Babes, the orchestra and the Creative team deserve all credit due for producing such a truly spectacular Pantomime.

Centre stage, leading the laugh-a-minute frolics and foolery, Allan, Grant and Andy are even more outrageous than usual with OTT characterisations and quick gags galore. Ad libbing and going off piste script-wise is all part of the fun – especially during audience participation. After chatting to an Australian family in an Ashtray Box, Fairy May spots a couple arriving late, creeping into the stalls: “ So where did you come fromn?” she asks. “Morningside” the guy replies …“but that family got here on time all the way from Australia!!”

Two hours of Fairy Tale magic and pure dead brilliant entertainment for all the family, from age 4 to 94.

Show times:
Saturday 2 December – Saturday 21 January 2018.
Matinee and Evening performances
www.edtheatres.com