‘Cinderella – the slightly deviated version’ is a hilarious offering from local multi-award-winning playwright, Yvette Wall. The Irish Club have wisely recognised that the starting line for most regular patrons of the theatre is ‘the Pantomime’; if you can get the audiences to bring their kids along to a fun, bright, fast moving comedic pantomime then you have that child for life. Yvette has skilfully presented a true, traditional British panto, with all the innuendoes, dames, colour, singing and sparkle. This was a first class, fast moving and lively show that held the attention of all ages with the multi-layered script.
This treasure was presented at the Irish Club in Subiaco for one week only 15 – 19th December to full houses – with all performances sold out well in advance.
The scene: On stage was a wonderful kitchen set in the Baroness’s mansion. At auditorium floor level the Royal Palace.
Set design and construction was by George Boyd, at his best. His work always has built in character, nothing is too much. The set artwork by Ursula Kotara was exceptional; yet again, a huge amount of detail and most realistic.
Props: Janine Erskine, Jillan Westbrook, David Wall, Yvette Wall, Rebecca, and Claire Wynne must have empty houses with the number of properties on stage.
Lighting design and operation is by Virginia Moore-Price. Virginia was mentored by John Woolrych and already has a talent for trying new effects and lighting schemes.
Sound design and operation: Josie Hacking and Nathan Holland gave us a full soundscape.
Stage crew: Stage manager David Wall, assisted by Yvette Wall, aided by Rebecca, Janine, Fiona, Pamela, and Angela. Silent fast and efficient. A cameo appearance by the playwright.
Front of house led by Denice Byrne
The colourful poster was by Production Manager, Claire Wynne (who is a talented artist that does clever caricatures for Christmas / birthday presents – I was given a beauty three years ago) and the informative programme was by Seán Byrne.
An innocent looking ‘Goode’ Fairy (Kerry Goode) entered waving her sagging wand and, with a wicked twinkle in her eye, told us how she had attended to a young man’s wand in the car park. The adults guffawed; the kids looked bewildered. We moved to the Baroness’s kitchen where poor Cinderella (Evie Madeleine) is scrubbing the floor. The two ugly sisters, Monsterosa (Stephen Lee) and Groteska (Ron Arthurs – both terrific) send in their cowardly pet, The Savage Cat (Stephen Walsh) to chase away the loveable mischief of mice (Teagan Chang, Evelyn Ellis, Willow Hussey, Indie Harlow Parker, Ciara Walsh).
Baroness Von Shocker – boo hiss (Kate Harcus) – enters to announce that a competition, ‘The Castle has Talent’ is looking for the best singer to become the bride of Prince Dreamy (Kate O’Sullivan). The Prince’s butler, Canterbury (Gaurav Singh) checks out the talent and makes the judges comfortable.
First to perform were the dwarfs – Dopey dwarf (Charlie Erskine), Sleepy dwarf (Nashy MZ), Happy dwarf (Tiara Volk), Grumpy dwarf (Alex Westbrook) and Doc dwarf (Luke Chappell) all with their own pleasant style.
The judges included the self-centred, insufferable Kimmy K (Sarah Thillagaratnam) and a wee Scotsman, Slyman McBowel (Shivas Lindsay). Who will win the Prince’s hand in marriage?
Director Michael Balmer had the whole stage alive and vibrant throughout the performance; there always something going on. The children’s concentration did not wilt for a second. The ugly sisters and their tyrannical mother had the audience shouting abuse un-prompted. Often it is almost embarrassing to have someone shouting ‘can’t hear you – try again’ even the youngest children feel imposed upon. The stepmother, Baroness von Shocker’s arrogance was incredible, when coupled with her sweeping, supercilious attitude.
Several months ago, Kate O’Sullivan appeared in a serious play at Subiaco and blew the audience away with a 2-hour – no interval for Kate – powerful performance, that may still win her a nomination for an award. Here she gives us the complete opposite, a slapstick, tongue in cheek riotous performance.
Voice coach Connie Wetherilt helped Stella Starlet (Colleen Hopkins) with her authentic German accent.
The colourful and over the top costumes were supplied and tailored by Lynda Stubbs with further thanks to Marjorie DeCaux. The Ugly Sisters’ horrendous costumes were made by Janine Erskine – great fun. Musical assistance from choirmaster, Leena Wall.
This was top-rate pantomime with all the expected strange routines. Highly recommended. Congrats to all concerned.