Tag Archives: Festive Show

REVIEW: Cinderfella – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

There has thankfully been a seismic shift in the Pantosphere in recent years to reflect the society we actually live in, and at the forefront has been the Tron Theatre, and more specifically those works from the pen of the wonder boy of panto fabulousness, Johnny McKnight. That said, this is the festive show I’ve attended since childhood and from the days of Peter Capaldi, Forbes Masson, Alan Cumming and Craig Ferguson, it has never felt the need to conform to Christmas norms or patronise its audience. It has a special place in my heart and year on year it never fails to entertain on every level and for every age.

The smashing of gender stereotypes features large in this year’s offering Cinderfella, and boy do they do it with tons of style and even more humour. Poor, orphaned Cinderella is fighting to keep her late parent’s vintage store afloat, her only hope is to meet fashion entrepreneur Princess Charmaine and persuade her to invest in the failing family business. However, the only way a poor pleb like Cinderella can get near the Princess is to get an invite to her annual ball. However, this year the guest-list is a male-only affair – so what’s a girl to do?…

The music is chart-toppingly catchy and composer Ross Brown has obviously caught West End smash Six, another celebration of female strength, there’s also a nod to You’ve Got a Friend in Me in Muttons big solo number.

The all-female cast is absolutely dynamite. Sally Reid, all wide-eyed innocence and guilelessness is the titular hero and her comic timing is masterful. Lauren Ellis-Steele doubles up as “Scotland’s answer to Beyoncé” (more an Adele look-and-sound-alike) and also the Wicked Stepmother – it’s a perfectly pitched performance and Ellis-Steele has a fine set of pipes, and as with all McKnight festive offerings, she gets to go full-on Mariah in All I Want For Christmas, the song that traditionally brings the shows to an end. Jo Freer as Cinderella’s loyal sheep side-kick Muttons is a scene stealer as are Hannah Jarrett-Scott and Daisy Ann Fletcher as Cinders’ hapless and hopeless step-brothers Harry and Larry in eye-popping male-drag. 

This ‘estrogen epidemic’ is so well conceived and so well delivered, you can’t fail to be thoroughly entertained and its message of female self-reliance will make your heart soar. I can’t praise it highly enough – a fantastic, five star, festive feast.

Image: John Johnstone

REVIEW: Rudolph – Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow

Esmerelda is one unhappy chicken, not only does she want to be called Joyce now, she’s also in no mood to provide the much needed eggs for the poor storytellers Christmas dinner – two poor storytellers who have no cards and no presents either. Esmerelda decides that she’ll only lay an egg if the pair re-tell her favourite story, that of Rudolph the famous red-nosed reindeer.

Rudolph (for pre-schoolers) is as far removed from the brash, candy-coloured pantomimes on offer around the city, this is the gentlest of storytelling, played out on a beautiful, naturalistic cottage-yard set, illuminated by the most beautiful lighting effects from Sergey Jakovsky.

While it does tend to stray on the side of the bizarre – there’s a strange ‘birthing’ sequence for Rudolph and Olive (the other reindeer) relishes her torment of poor Rudolph at reindeer school, it’s a gentle introduction into modern theatre for the tiniest of audience members.

The highlight of the night is when the only song of the evening plays from the radio Edwin Starr’s HAPPY Radio and the tiny dancers in the auditorium burst into life. The creators would do well to take note of the effect of music on young children – it speaks to their very soul. At only 45 minutes long it should fly by but it lacks the necessary life it takes to make it a real hit with its target audience, there’s a lot of restlessness around. A work of quality but not without its faults.

Runs until 17 December at various times

Tickets from £4.50 (local links) /£5/ £8.50

https://platform-online.ticketsolve.com/shows/873580110/events/128296769?_ga=2.1147190.662329583.1512841957-1557944836.1492164954

Sun 10 Dec
2:00pm—3:00pm
Tues 12 Dec
10:00am—11:00am
Tues 12 Dec
1:15pm—2:15pm
Weds 13 Dec
10:00am—11:00am
Weds 13 Dec
7:00pm—8:00pm
Thurs 14 Dec
10:00am—11:00am
Fri 15 Dec
10:00am—11:00am
Sat 16 Dec
10:30am—11:30am
Sat 16 Dec
2:00pm—3:00pm
Sun 17 Dec
2:00pm—3:00pm