Traditional, magical and a little bit crazy...
Panto season is upon us... oh yes it is! CAMILLA GOODMAN finds out about The Elgiva's pantomime Cinderella which makes its debut today
PREPARE to be enchanted as The Elgiva presents the most magical of pantomimes, the traditional story of Cinderella. The show opens at the theatre in St Mary’s Way, Chesham, today and runs for four weeks until Sunday, January 3.
The cast will star in a total of 49 shows over the festive period and more than 11,000 people will come to see the show.
The story follows Cinderella, who is forced to serve her wicked Ugly Sisters. She dreams of freedom and the chance to find true love and happiness. Aided by the silly but lovable Buttons and with her Fairy Godmother carefully watching over her, watch with delight as a pumpkin is transformed into a sparkling coach, mice into white horses and Cinderella is sent to the Prince’s ball in a dazzling ball gown and glass slippers – all with a wave of a good fairy’s wand. But the spell will break when the clock chimes midnight. Will Cinderella live happily ever after?
Will the Ugly sisters steal the Prince away from her? Will the Glass slipper fit? All will be revealed in The Elgiva’s spectacular brand new production, once again sponsored by the Examiner and Advertiser.
The Chesham theatre last did Cinderella in 2004, so it is going to be very exciting to see this fairytale unfold on home soil for the first time in 11 years.
Producer, scriptwriter and director of this year’s pantomime Stuart Morrison said: “This year’s pantomime is going to be quite magical, it’s more of a traditional pantomime. We’ve spent a lot of money this year on effects that will be subtle but will really be magical, like Cinderella’s dress, and the coach is going to look outstanding.”
This year’s pantomime will feature two Dames, with The Elgiva Dame regular Colin Ridgewell returning as Ugly Sister Bella and Greg Pichery, who has choreographed the Chesham theatre’s pantomime for the last five years, making his Dame debut as Ugly Sister Donna.
The larger than life duo have 10 costume changes this year, and Stuart has promised some very exciting outfits.
“I love my costumes but my boots, which were Danny La Rue’s are killing me! I’m dreading the costume changes, we have 10! Some of the costumes are very spectacular, I’m looking forward to wearing those,” explained Greg.
Colin, who was in Grange Hill for eight years, said: “It’s the first time in my 13 pantos that I’m playing the baddy, I’m really looking forward to that and to scaring the kids and picking on the dads in the audience. I’m also looking forward to working with Greg, it’s a unique experience to share the stage and bounce jokes off each other. Being by myself is quite daunting so it’ll be great to be with someone else.
“We’ve got 10 costumes changes, which is one more than last year, but with two of us there’s double of everything so it’s going to be crazy getting changed backstage, there will be costumes everywhere!
“The show is going to amazing and we have some really great songs this year.”
ChrisWills as Prince Charming, inset above,Victoria Jane as Cinderella.Top, Ugly Sisters Colin Ridgewell and Greg Pichery. Inset left with David Martin as Buttons and Kluane Saunders as the Fairy Godmother