The King’s Theatre annual pantomime has become somewhat iconic in Edinburgh’s theatre scene, and for good reason.
For one thing, the creative team’s work is breathtaking. Seamless set changes, pyrotechnics, and intricate costumes all add to the magic of the production. It’s clear that a lot of time and effort is channelled into every detail, and it shows. The use of a live orchestra is another mark in the King’s favour, far superior to any backing track.
Another thing that sets this pantomime apart from the rest is its format; it’s more reminiscent of a sketch comedy show loosely woven around a fairytale. This is by no means a bad thing, because it still adheres to the tropes we all know and love (he’s behind you!) while giving the adults in the audience plenty of humorous jibes. All too often, productions just focus on slapstick and singalongs, forgetting that pantomimes are intended to be for the entire family.
Gillian Parkhouse and James Darch are excellent as Cinderella and Prince Charming, despite the relatively little stage-time they actually get. Another mention should be extended to the Edinburgh Dance Academy‘s troupe, whose young performers hold their own against the older members.
However, the real driving force behind the King’s pantomime is the chemistry between Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, and Grant Stott. Their ability to improvise and bounce off each other while keeping the play moving forward makes for very entertaining watching. The trio are what people come back to see, year after year, effortlessly cracking jokes about all manner of themes – some kid-friendly, some not!
If you’re looking for a fun night out with the family, Cinderella is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. Pop songs, dance numbers, and plenty of audience participation leave the audience feeling completely satisfied – and a lot more Christmassy than when they came in.