Cinderella, Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow,
**** 4 Stars
“Tradition Returns as only the Pavilion can deliver!”
The Pavilion have had a very tough year with a complete closure of the theatre for 5 months owing to the horrendous fire on Argyll Street. Thanks to the hard work of contractors and the theatre staff the iconic home of Scottish variety is back open with the greatest panto of them all Cinderella.
Its also a joy to see traditional panto back at the fore front after a strange run of “Christmas” themed shows like “ Santa Clause is Coming Town” and once again trotting out “The Wizard of Never Woz” it was beginning to feel as if the Pavilion was never coming back to real panto, but it has in a big way.
Telling the famous story of the girl mistreated by a cruel wicked step mother and even worse ugly sisters who thanks to a fairy godmother finds her prince charming and true love has become the greatest panto title of them all. Director and Producer Iain Gordon has peppered his script with comedy jewels and clever casting to ensure a fun night of panto magic for the masses who attend the “Pav” panto every Year.
Scottish favourite Liam Dolan returns to the pavilion as Buttons and brings a cute charm to the role and shines with his family aimed comedy and stands out in what must be the most usual buttons costumes seen on stage. In the title role of Cinderella is Holly Jack again a pavilion favourite and her big voice is a major bonus and ensures Cinderella is never to timid. Chris Scougal and Chris Taylor form an excellent double act as Prince and Dandini respectively but their word play sketch in the second act could easily be dropped as it loses the audience slightly and would reduce what is quite a lengthy running time. The honey voiced Alyson Orr makes her pavilion panto debut as the Fairy Godmother and she makes sure she shines in her stage time. Long time Pavilion panto baddie Joyce Falconer returns as The Baroness opposite Clark Stewart and she illicit boo’s with ease and her Doric wickedness is a panto winner.
This production of Cinderella brilliance is down to the wicked step sisters with River City favourite Stephen Purdon and professional wrestler Grado slipping on the stockings and high heels to play Boabina and Gradina respectively its pure comedy magic and the haunted bed sketch will go down in Pavilion theatre history as one of the best, the sisters are worthy of the ticket price all on their own.
Production wise the limitations of the Pavilion stage are pushed to there very limits and the Pavilion must be one of the few theatres in the UK still deploying a laser show, but for its cheesiness it really works and brings a real charm. Excellent costumes also add to the perfect panto mix.
The Pavilion pantomime will always hold a special place in the heart of Glasgow because of its lineage and its mantra of offering excellent value entertainment for the masses especially those who would not otherwise go to see live theatre. The mantra shines through the magic that is Cinderella so be sure to see it this Christmas before the clock strikes midnight.
The Pavilion Theatre Presents “Cinderella”, The Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, runs until Sunday 13th January 2019 Tickets from £15 go to http://www.pavilionpanto.com/dates.php