Lakeside Little Theatre’s first pantomime “Sinderella,” officially described as an adult musical comedy, is a novel experience for most members of the audience unfamiliar with this intrinsically British Christmas family entertainment.
Directed by Paul Kloegman, visiting from Canada, this version of Cinderella was created by LLT First Vice-President Dave McIntosh, who also helped to direct the show and assisted Musical Director Ann Swiston and Choreographer Heather Hunter too.
Pianist, former CREM student and current Viva scholarship winner Rodrigo Leal opens the show in traditional style and skillfully provides the musical accompaniment for singers and dancers throughout.
Guided in etiquette by Buttons (Kloegman), the audience quickly grasps that the “fourth wall” (the invisible barrier between the actors and the audience) and audience decorum do not exist in “panto,” enthusiastically hissing and booing cruel Baroness Hard-Up (Patricia Guy) whenever she appears. At one point, to everyone’s delight, provoking her to respond, “Oh, hiss off!” As patrons report, “It is so neat to be able to join in and answer back!”
Conventionally, the major roles are usually cross-cast with women playing the leading male roles, while male actors play the “pantomime dame” and other comedic female characters.