Cinderella, Falkirk Review:
**** 4 Stars
“delivers a warm and Big heart pantomime with level of spectacle that Falkirk will not have seen before”
Imagine Productions makes its debut at the FTH Theatre in Falkirk (once home to the televised FCYT pantos for many a year) with the greatest panto of them all Cinderella and they succeed in delivering a warm hearted and fun production.
Telling the age-old tale of Cinderella (Christie Gowans)who goes from Rags to Riches after overcoming her evil stepmother (Sally Howitt) and worse ugly sisters and finding her prince (Adam Morgan) with a little help from Buttons (John Winchester) and her Fairy Godmother (Barbara Bryceland).
As is traditional for Imagine theatre pantomimes, this is a story and plot driven show with added comedy and a very special effect that sees the transformation scene truly take flight. Performance wise its an interesting one. Fairy Babs (Bryceland) has a true warmth of personality and that big voice that saw her achieve much on TV’s X factor and the Voice, however she is being helped with a lot of technical panto magic with the lines. That said it’s a remarkable challenge for a cabaret vocal performer to take on the task of leading a panto company so full credit to Barbara for delivering with the charm and personality and drive that see’s the audience take her to there hearts.
Sally Howitt’s Baroness Demonica owes much to her River City Character Scarlett but is well delivered and a consummately professional baddie. Talking of baddies, this show shines with Craig Glover (Sadie) and Derek McGhie (Senga) ugly sister double act. With on the ball comedy quips, big costumes and the ability to break the forth wall with ease, these two truly make this Cinderella Shine.
Elsewhere Gowan’s Cinderella is sugary sweet and pitch perfect making every little girl’s dream in the audience come true, as a performer she also carries Adam Morgan’s Prince Charming vocally, while Morgan has great acting presence his vocal isn’t always on the button, but he succeeds in getting his talent across.
John Winchester’s “Buttons” is charming and wins the audience over from his first appearance and his double act with Dandini “Scott Watson” is also winner especially during the song sheet. Special mention must go to ensemble member John Aitken, his performance is completely polished and delivered with gusto yet never truly pulls the focus, its always nice to see a gorgeous and dedicated performance turned in from the ensemble.
Director Stuart Bird has delivered well on Alan McHugh’s script although the show does run a little too long and could do with pruning down especially the song sheet which runs it course long before the final “Double Speed” finale. Laine Baird’s Choreography ensures the entire space is used and the colour and variety that dance brings to panto is truly explored. Musical Director and Arranger Darren Webster ensures classic pop tunes like “Make your own kind of music” sits well with up to date hits from “The Greatest Showman”.
All in All, this production delivers a warm and Big heart pantomime with level of spectacle that Falkirk will not have seen before, so get yourself along and grab those tickets as the magic will be over by the stroke of midnight on Christmas day.
The Falkirk Community Trust and Imagine Theatre Presents, Cinderella, FTH Theatre, Falkirk, Runs until Monday 24th December. For tickets go to: http://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/whats-on/events/search.aspx?q=cinderella