Cinderella (4 stars)


Karen Dunbar, Jenny Douglas, Kieran Brown and Des Clarke head up Glasgow's King’s Theatre panto

For all the conflicting needs of a commercial pantomime show – slapstick and continual visual flair for the kids; just enough of a sense of structure and bite for the adults with them; ropey jokes and song and dance routines (here, to pop hits like ‘Gangnam Style’ and Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’) for everybody – the panto at Glasgow’s King’s surely remains one of the market leaders.

This latest take on Cinderella is studiedly traditional and all the better for it, whipped up to a fast pace by director Tony Cownie and visually marvellous both for the sets, the costumes and the effects.

With strong support from Steven McNicoll and John Ramage, and Jenny Douglas and Kieran Brown anchoring the piece with the straight roles of Cinderella and Prince Charming, the possibly slightly overlong at three hours production turned on three excellent comedy turns: the endlessly watchable Karen Dunbar as a crude Gorbals Fairy Godmother, a sharp Des Clarke as Buttons and a winningly grotesque and ludicrously dressed pairing of Gavin Mitchell and Gordon Cooper as the Ugly Sisters. Clarke’s tribute to late King’s panto stalwart Gerard Kelly in the dedications is appropriate – he would surely have approved.

King’s Theatre, Glasgow, until Sun 6 Jan


Join Cinders, her dashing Prince, some glass slippers and an over-sized pumpkin in this perfect rags to riches story for panto season.