Cinderella (King's Theatre, Edinburgh) (4 stars)

Panto dream time Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, Grant Stott and Paul Elliot strike gold once again

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Cinderella

The great strength of the King’s panto, year upon year, is its ability to hook audiences of all ages and tastes. The script, co-written by Paul Elliott and everyone’s favourite dame, Allan Stewart, features great dollops of slapstick and toilet humour, a plethora of local references and tons of audience interaction. Throw in cheerful scenery and costumes that wouldn’t look out of place at a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and you’ve got a gaudy, breathless entertainment that whips its audience into a frenzy and keeps them there for a couple of hours.

Cinderella is this year’s fairytale of choice for Elliott and co, though, as ever, the story is subordinate to the driving energy of the performances. Stewart gets to show off his versatility, strumming a ukelele, staging a one-woman ceilidh and impersonating the tenor from the Go Compare ads while providing the show’s warm beating heart as Baroness McSquirrel. Andy Gray as Buttons is the soppy foil to Stewart’s feisty dame, while arch-Hibee and face of Lothian Buses Grant Stott steals the show and all the best costumes to stand seven-feet tall in heels and wig as villainness Gobina McPhlegm.

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sun 22 Jan.

Cinderella

Usual suspects Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott are all present and correct in the King's traditional hootenany.

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