REVIEW BY LISSA ALEXANDER
Any play that can keep my three-year-olds fleeting attention for two hours deserves to be commended.
We laughed, we booed, we clapped, we hissed and we rolled our eyes in unison at the silly costumes and jokes.
Yes, Cinderella, the classic British pantomime, was a hit with all the children at the Village Theatre on Thursday evening, but the adult humour also garnered plenty of hoots and fits of laughter from the older members of the audience.
Cinderella, a musical comedy, is presented by Echo Players in Qualicum Beach and runs until December 29.
The happy fairytale, which is not the Disney version, had its familiar moments of sappiness, but it also had many unusual twists and clever jokes which included many local and some political references.
The costumes were fabulous. Especially that of the blindingly-sparkly Good Fairy, which actor Chris Cope very successfully made hilarious.
Local dancer Bethany Freed did a fantastic job of making Cinderella both sweetly naive and cheeky, and Gary Alfred did a bang-up job of creating a thick and ignorant Prince Charming, while also making him very likeable. The actor, who recently starred in Spamalot in Nanaimo, brought great humour to his role.
It was nice to see such a young cast at the performance, often a tough task for local directors.
My daughter loved Buttons, the household servant, who was played another young actor, Arthur MacKinnon. The actor was engaging, funny and sharp, and had me rooting for him to win Cinderella’s heart.
The ugly stepsisters were definitely a crowd favourite, as Don Harper and Shawn Lestage dolled themselves up in extravagant clothes and makeup. You couldn’t help but grin every time you saw them prancing around the stage in their satiny outfits and high heels.
Susan Warner gave her usual flawless performance as the evil baroness Lola, and earned a great many loud boos and hisses.
Young Deacon Marshall was a good right-hand-man to Charming, playing Dandini, and the sweet Wood Nymphs also earned my daughter’s affection as they snuck around their enchanted forest making fun noises.
Although it was lovely to see a young cast there was one scene where a few of them seemed a bit too young for the adult roles.
But despite this I adored the production and found it such an enjoyable way to spend an evening with my daughter in Qualicum Beach.
I tip my hat to directors Sue Murguly and Lynne Carrow for making it short and sweet and highly entertaining.
Don’t miss Cinderella at the Village Theatre.
Tickets are $19 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for students and $5 for children 5 and under. Buy them at the box office in Qualicum Beach, phone 250-752-3522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a performance calendar visit the website www.echoplayers.ca.