Ian Robinson, the director of “Cinderella Pantomime,” brings a classic British piece to the Land of Smiles and spices it up with some Bangkokian gags.
[dropcap letter=”T”]his December, Cinderella is coming to town with her two giant step-sisters, Prince charming, a fairy godmother, many jokes, plus plenty of 80s and 90s songs. Leave your Disney expectations at home, because this version of Cinderella is wilder and much more grotesque. Boo and shout, clap along, and laugh out loud- there is no other way to enjoy the two-hour show more than to become a part of it.
Everybody knows Cinderella, a poor girl who lived a miserable life until a handsome prince came and rescued her. And everybody secretly wants to be Cinderella, to be rescued from all troubles and live happily ever after in a perfect world. The simple yet powerful story always works, and the pantomime colors the plot with funny additional scenes. The pair of ugly stepsisters comprise the main shade. Pat and Pong (Larry Ryan and John Wright) act over-the-top and make non-stop punch line jokes to keep up the laughter. With a little help from thick make-up, wigs and extravagant dresses, the two men in drag are the most outstanding ones. On the other hand, another gender-crossing duo, Prince charming and his sidekick Dandini (Celia Barthman and Gemma Salmon) lack the experience in this type of comedy and quickly fade away every time the villains walk in.
Ryan Haynes plays the interesting character Buttons, Cinderella’s best friend. He holds the stage with his passion and an energetic vibe. When he speaks to the audience and encourages them to participate, even the smallest kid listens and joins in. Unfortunately, Alex Long, the dreamy Cinderella dumbs him and dances her way to the ball. She’s a talented dancer and can sing like a real-life Disney princess. The other choruses also sing well, but fail to brighten up the whole scene as a powerful ensemble.
The first act of panto is quite fun, especially when you have a free mince pie and a drink before going inside the theatre. It would be better if we’re allowed to take a sip while watching the show. When the pantomime starts, people quickly learn to giggle while they’re booing and hissing the stepsisters and children are so thrilled to shout out to the stage. The transformation scene is impressive. Magic happens when the ballerina fairy godmother dances around and Cinderella emerges in her ball gown. After she leaves the glass slipper at the palace’s gate, there are many humorous lines and pop songs, but not much story to tell.
In conclusion, this Christmas pantomime is well designed for family entertainment. Kids under twelve will have so much fun sitting in the front row and cheering the heroes. The grown-ups can sit behind and laugh for all the baddies’ bawdy jokes and enjoy Madonna’s songs.
The clock is ticking! The panto will be played again 12 – 14 December. Book your golden tickets now. You don’t need a fairy godmother or a pumpkin carriage to bring you to the ball.
The Cinderella pantomime runs at Creative Industries at M-Theatre on Petchburi Road. Show time is 8:00 pm.
Tickets cost 850 baht (550 baht for children under 13) and include a drink and a mince pie.
To reserve tickets email Larry3690@gmail.com or call 087 517 2666