I got to see the first performance of the World Premiere of Johnny McKnight’s Cinderella at The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh the other week (translation; I went, as is customary, to the cheap first night of a new play at The Lyceum.)
I wouldn’t normally go to a pantomime, probably haven’t done since I was a kid, but I’d bought the cheap first night ticket, a friend was visiting, so we went along.
We had a great time. It was a well-written update, with excellent performances all round,well directed, thoughtful and funny. Jo Freer, who was playing one of the ugly, or in this version’s universe, skanky, sisters is made for this sort of thing.
It made me wish that the same attention to detail and care had gone into some of the “serious” theatre I’d seen from the Lyceum in the last year…it’s often a bit throwaway, despite the odd gem such as their Of Mice and Men.
I’ve noticed that McKnight’s play is also being performed at Stirling’s Macrobert – not only that, he is starring at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre in his own Aganeza Scrooge, a re-write of A Christmas Carol; it’s good to see someone as busy in Scottish theatre…the website for his Random Accomplice Theatre Company is right here.
The Cinderella show gave me a chance to play my Still Game game; that is, using the programme notes to see which of the actors in that evening’s performance had been in Still Game, then trying to figure out who they had played (there are usually a couple at almost all theatre performances in Edinburgh or Glasgow.)
This production features Gail Watson playing Cinderella’s mother (she was Margot in the “pub quiz” episode titled Swottin’); and Grant O’Rourke playing the two roles of Cinderella’s Papa and Prince Pierre’s (erm…) butler. I had to go to IMDB to find that he had played Matt in the Dial-a-Bus episode, then watch the episode to see that Matt was the name of the relief barman sent to The Clansman to let Bobby go cycling.
Almost all of Still Game exemplifies the attention to detail needed to create good theatre, film or TV, of any genre. I usually watch at least one episode a week.