Breaking out of the virtual confines of last year’s Zoom panto extravaganza, Perth Theatre delights its audience with a modern take on a panto classic.
Barrie Hunter has completely reimagined the well-kent story but kept much of its heart. It may well be a pantomime for people who (think they) don’t like panto – retaining its most recognisable elements but weaving a modern set and costumes that break from the traditional.
Betty Valencia’s Cinderella is feisty, fun and in fine voice. She breathes refreshing life into a character that is so often sidelined – putting Cinderella front and centre in the show that bears her name.
Squeezing every last “Boo!” from the audience is Helen Logan as Cinderella’s evil Stepmother. Her wicked sense of humour ensures she gets the laughs that she deserves – even if we’re not supposed to like her.
In a combined Buttons/Prince Charming role, Lewis Winter Petrie makes his first professional appearance in this production. He brings an energy and charm that lights up the stage.
Stealing the show is its writer, director and the brash half of the Ugly Stepsisters – Barrie Hunter. His comic timing is enough to make your sides split and his Tayside script captures the beating heart of the locale.
His counterpart, Ewan Somers, is the perfect feed for Hunter’s gags. The pair’s ridiculously extravagant costumes, thanks to Louise Robertson and her wardrobe team, are worth your ticket stub alone – perfectly combined with some football-inspired ditties.
Most heartening of this production is its community cast who are indistinguishable from the professionals on stage. If panto is about bringing the local community together, there is no finer way to do it than how Perth Theatre has.