Audience shall go to the ball!

CUMBERNAULD Theatre promises its audience a magical experience with this year’s Christmas Show, Cinderella.

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Being a Cumbernauld Theatre Christmas show, there are a number of differences from traditional pantomime - it focuses more on interactive storytelling, with a small professional cast taking on multiple roles for an intimate “close up” experience.

The News was invited to a sneak preview of one of the first scenes, which gave a flavour of this distinctive production.

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Artistic director Ed Robson said: “In this version, we start on the evening of the wedding and Cinderella’s evil stepmother puts her under a magic spell.

“She wakes up in a forest, and can’t remember her name or anything else. But she has this nagging feeling that she has to get to something on time but can’t work out what it is.

“She is found in the forest by other characters who help her put together what happened and they act out the story together so she remembers.

“All the kids in the audience are involved in this too – they play elves in the magic forest and cast a magic rhyme to help.”

In addition to Cinderella (Rachel Gibson) and Alma/Mandragorah (Irene Allan), the other characters are the wizard Zeb (Peter Callaghan), his apprentice Turf (Kevin Quinn) and the grumpy woodsman Magnus (Fraser Boyle). The characters take on the roles of other characters in the reconstruction of the Cinderella story, including - of course - the ugly sisters Olga and Helga. “They’re a classic double act,” said Ed, “and we have fun with the character’s reluctance to drag up as them.”

And of course the show will feature all the hallmarks that have won Cumbernauld’s Christmas shows so many plaudits over the years.

Said Ed: “We’ve got jokes, local references, shout outs, audience participation, and magic. A Christmas show is a bit like a Christmas pudding - it has to have a bit of everything

“And we’re fortunate to have a very loyal audience. I know some who haven’t missed one of our Christmas shows in 40 years!”

Cinderella opens at Cumbernauld Theatre this Friday, December 2, and runs until Tuesday 27. Times and prices vary, call 01236 732887 for details.