Cinderfella (4 stars)


credit: John Johnston

Panto meets political comedy in the Tron's annual pantomime from Johnny McKnight

Written by Johnny McKnight and directed by Kenny Miller, Cinderfella is a brash reworking of the well-known fairy-tale for a festive, Glaswegian stage. The story begins with Cinderella struggling to keep her parent's shop in business, whilst contending with the wrath of her step-mother and bumbling buffoons of step-brothers. With the help of Muttons, her trusty sheep and sidekick, Cinderella attempts to save her beloved shop in this hilarious and well-crafted modern pantomime.

Johnny McKnight's script is so full of contemporary references it is hard to keep up. The script is dripping with cutting remarks about gender inequalities, delivered by an outstanding all-female cast who carry this light-hearted, yet political, piece from start to finish. The step-brothers steal the show and serve as a gratifying and refreshing comment on drag/dame culture, shunning the stale traditions which continue at Christmas time nationwide.

Eva Forrester's choreography lifts the musical numbers and allows room for each character to shine through their movement. At times the songs feel shoe-horned into the fast-paced script, but this is redeemed by the performers who deliver each number with unique, comedic flair.

Through its quick wit and creative production, Cinderfella exposes the flaws in a performance style that has existed within the same, sexist frame for too long. It is impossible for panto to take itself seriously, but that does not mean it cannot tackle something serious. Delightfully funny and modern, Cinderfella is the panto that is ready-made for the twenty-first century stage.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sun 5 Jan.


A fun twist on the classic pantomime.