I WAS driving through nearby villages last week, and miserably missing all those posters advertising Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington (and of course Cinderella) that you’d expect to see taped to lamp-posts at this time of year.
Covid-19 has scuppered all performances in early 2021, and those pantomimes have been a huge part of my working life for as long as I can remember.
So I can’t thank the Over the Wall and Wassail theatre companies enough for the inspired, hilarious and absolutely authentic In Search of Cinderella, an on-line panto that takes its characters on a Covid-Safe dash around the theatres of Somerset while unfolding the familiar story of Cinders, Charming, Buttons, Dandini and the Ugly Sisters (why WERE they called Melania and Ivana?)
It’s a rousing call for support for the performing arts and the venues where the shows are staged as well as a delightful show full of familiar jokes, new jokes, lurid costumes, brilliantly timed clowning, fine singing, not so fine comic dancing – indeed all the things you need from panto, including the ghost routine.
With Leela Bunce as the Prince and the Fairy/Mother, Ged Stephenson as Dandini and Ivana, Katy Sobey in the title role, Matthew Emeny as Buttons and Melania and Richard Crowe as other characters, Andy Collyer’s music, direction from Deb Richardson and Nick White and cleverly filmed by Dan Gale* and Alisa Cengic, it’s a show for all the family, and it’s free to watch. If you care about pantomime, and our performers and venues, you might want to contribute to the fund. It is money very well spent.
See In Search of Cinderella on line until Sunday 28th February, and tell your friends.
*Dan Gale’s student film Lavish Gizzards was a popular short with Screen Bites audiences from 2012 onwards.