The best things in life are stories. I was blessed with a Grandfather and Father who were great story tellers.They instilled in me the knowledge that a life of thrill and adventure was only a bookshelf away. I too told my children stories and relished the obvious pleasure they got from fairy tales and other genres of children’s literature. Every time I go to a pantomime I am reminded of the heady days of being told stories and the joy of making children happy when my turn came to do the telling. So thank you KickstArt for rekindling this euphoria every year !
Whilst Cinderella is one of the world’s best loved stories, Steven Stead and Greg King have cleverly made this version different. From the opening scene they had the audience guessing as veteran Lyle Buxton took the lights as a manservant with an Aussie drawl. The variation in plot is enough to show the audience that this is not simply a replay of past stagings of Cinderella.
Nathan Kruger, playing Prince Florian and Roshanda Lewis in the title role, both provide convincing performances. Mthokozisi Zulu excels in his role as a somewhat more gritty Buttons than we are used to and Anne Marie Clulow is wonderful in her role as a delightfully dotty Fairy Godmother
In true panto style it is Darren King and Bryan Hiles, playing the ugly sisters, that provide the fun, quips and repartee. They are both superb and their costumes are outstandingly outlandish.
The sets and lighting are top class. A standout for me was a scene that included no less than 15 singing puppets, including a few of my cousins, the Court’s kitchen rats.
As always the choreography is full of detail, including dancers on pointe. Tina Leroux’s mastery of the lighting brings out the best in both sets and costumes, which simply ooze luster.
This years edition features more active audience participation than past versions with the ‘Shark Song’ ( featuring more doo doo’s than Umhlanga promenade on a Sunday morning ) galvanizing both children and adults into action.
The full house closed to a well deserved standing ovation which, for me, officially opens the Season of Good Will ! If I had to choose a single Xmas present for the year it would certainly be a ticket to a KickstArt Pantomime !
Age limit: 0 to 127 ( anyone over 127 may struggle with the steep drive way ..).
Standing ovation: 9/10.
Cellphone man: 2/10 ( he’s got to work on his grumpiness …).
Lemon meringue: 8/10.
Ratamendation: Highly !