It fits! I won! … Somerset’s own Cinderella

IT’s January! It’s dark! It’s cold! Christmas is over and we’re all in tiers and even tears! We’re fed up! We’re bored! We want some fun! We want some laughs!

WE WANT A PANTOMIME!

Of course you do. It’s that time of year. It’s only natural! But the theatres are all closed. The seats are empty. The lights are off. The magic has gone…

… or has it? Thanks to the creative energy of writer Richard Crowe, local actors and film-makers, funding from the Arts Council England, Somerset West and Taunton Council and Take Art’s BARN project, families across Somerset will be able to enjoy the county’s own virtual panto from the comfort of their own homes, on Wednesday 20th January at 6pm..

Each scene of In Search of Cinderella has been filmed at a well-known theatre or arts centre to create an online performance and any funds raised will benefit the venues and help them to be ready to open their doors again when the pandemic is over and the majority of the population has been vaccinated..

As well as telling the traditional Cinderella story on the various stages, In Search of Cinderella takes the audience to the cafes, bars and front-of-house areas following the Prince’s quest for the foot that fits the glass slipper.

Richard Crowe wrote and produced the show, in association with Somerset Film, based at The Engine Room in Bridgwater. He says: “We’re creating something special with and for the people of Somerset. This is an opportunity to join across the county and celebrate what we’ve got and who we are.

“This story belongs to us – Somerset is Cinderella. We’re the county people drive through without stopping, and we’re the county that punches above its weight. We don’t always acknowledge the amazing things that happen here, such as Carnival and all our local traditions.

“As well as giving audiences a good time, we’re promoting our county’s theatres and arts centres at this difficult time. Everyone is welcome to watch the online performance for free – have a chuckle and a singalong on us! But if you can, the producers are asking for donations (whatever you feel it’s worth) that will go directly to help participating venues recover from the coronavirus crisis and help keep theatre live in Somerset.”

The participating venues are Strode Theatre at Street, Taunton Brewhouse, Minehead’s Regal Theatre, Bridgwater Arts Centre, South Petherton’s David Hall, Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre, the Princess Theatre, Burnham-on-Sea and the performance will end with the Prince and Cinders’ wedding at Glastonbury Abbey, with the “It’s Behind Yous” from the children of Butleigh CoE Primary School.

Musical director is Andy Collyer, who wrote the music and lyrics, and the directors are Deb Richardson and Nick White. Katy Sobey plays Cinderella, Leela Bunce plays the Fairy and the Prince, Matthew Emeny is Buttons and Melania, Ged Stephenson is Dandini and Ivana, with other characters played by Richard Crowe.

In Search of Cinderella is a Richard Crowe and Over the Wall production in association with Somerset Film and Wassail Theatre Company. Donations will be in aid of the participating venues to help support them in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Search of Cinderella has its premiere online at 6pm on Wednesday 20th January. For more information visit insearchofcinderella.com