Dir. Morag Fullarton, King’s Theatre, 8th Dec – 8th Jan
I am a huge fan of pantomime – the stories, the romance, and the comedy all together create such a fascinating and spectacular performance, one that can be enjoyed by all the family. And this year’s King’s panto did not disappoint me.
Des Clarke, as per usual, plays a fantastic sidekick, this time taking on the role of Buttons, Cinderella’s best friend. As we would expect, his energy and enthusiasm works brilliantly to get the audience involved, particularly the children. Alongside the likes of Alex Robertson and Gary Lamont playing the Baron Pollock (Cinderella’s father) and Dandini (the Prince’s valet) respectively, the three of them together make the perfect comedic trio, resulting in hilarity for all the audience.
Nothing, however, can compare to the comedic duo of Gregor Fisher and Tony Roper as Cinderella’s two ugly step-sisters, Euphemia and Lavinia. The duo’s constant berating of every character, as well as their costumes, are absolutely fantastic. The excellent combination of comedy and maliciousness is exactly what is needed to turn these two into the perfect antagonists, without really turning them into villains.
While comedy in Cinderella was fantastic, at times it did feel that the jokes were not completely appropriate for the children in the audience. Overall however, the inclusion of more adult humour did make the show more enjoyable for those old enough to understand the jokes, although it probably resulted in some awkward questions for parents on the ride home.
Visually, the show was stunning – the amount of effort put in the set design and particularly the costume design brought the entire performance to a higher level. The end of the first act in particular left me speechless – the carriage, complete with horses, was magnificent, as was every other visual aspect of that scene.
The story of Cinderella is one that everyone is familiar with, yet the King’s managed to create a version that still allows people to be surprised by the events in the story, despite knowing what will happen. The performance was stunning, and based on the amount of laughter in the theatre, enjoyed by all the audience.
[Mata Durkin – @MataDurkin]
Photo credit: Nisbet Wylie