"A festive family treat."
Hopscotch Theatre Company and The Brunton have joined forces this festive season to bring this year’s family panto to East Lothian.
Last night (Wednesday 20th), I was invited along to Loretto School Theatre to the opening night of Cinderella.
Known for their contemporary style and storytelling, Hopscotch Theatre Company brings a present-day spin to the familiar tale of torment, magic, and love.
As the curtain rises and the lights flood the stage, we are introduced to Cinderella, a traveller and explorer, as she opens her ‘Famous Market’ filled with a few well-known wonders like a particular magic lamp and a single enchanted rose.
Barging in and causing chaos are Cinderella’s stepsisters Hackit and Glackit, the fungal (sorry viral) sensations, waving invitations to Prince McCharming’s Loretto Ball.
Self-obsessed and incongruously dressed, Hackit and Glackit try to keep Cinderella locked away to have the prince all to themselves. But with the help from her Fairy Oddmother and the “magic” from the kids in the audience, Cinderella makes it to the Loretto Ball.
After a brief encounter, and cutting some enthusiastic shapes on the dancefloor, midnight arrives, and the prince is left with only a sparkly training shoe as a memento of his true love. Cue his search for Cinderella.
The cast of four are brilliant at enticing the traditional panto responses from the audience. Rachel Still portrays a sweet and excitable Cinderella, and Calum Barbour doubles as Cinderella’s quirky Indiana Jones wannabe Dad, and Tik Tok star and heir to the Greggs (yes, the bakers) empire, Prince McCharming.
Baying the audience for “woos” and “boos”, Sandy Bain brings the sass and Kit Laveri brings the cheeky as the panto villains Hackit and Glackit. Their over-exaggerated and gag-laden performance as the stepsisters adds to the overall hilarity of the show. Kit also doubles as the enigmatic Fairy Oddmother.
Written by Ross Stenhouse and directed by Calum Moore, the show delights with witty one-liners, up-to-date gibes, and loads of local references, not to mention original musical numbers that ooze 80s vibes.
Set design and costumes are as you’d expect from a touring community pantomime, minimal and budget friendly but with a sprinkling of sequins. The lighting and sound are used to great effect in portraying magic and wonder, adding a little razzmatazz to the production too.
But underneath the panto razzle-dazzle, Cinderella delivers a subtle message that we can be “brave and beautiful and exactly who we wanna be!”
A festive family treat, Cinderella continues to run at Loretto School Theatre until Saturday 30th December.
📸 Production Images by Hopscotch Theatre Company
🎥 Reel by Jenna's Jamboree
CINDERELLA: Rachel Still
HACKIT: Sandy Bain
GLACKIT/FAIRY ODDMOTHER: Kit Laveri
PRINCE McCHARMING/FATHER: Calum Barbour
HOPSCOTCH THEATRE COMPANY
Hopscotch Theatre Company is one of Scotland’s leading producers of accessible, contemporary theatre for young audiences, ensuring that children, families and communities have access to the magic of live theatre and storytelling. Renowned for their annual pantomime productions, they centre recognisable Scottish stories into the heart of their work and bring new touring productions directly to communities, reaching over thirtythousand people each year.
This version of Cinderella was first written by Hopscotch Theatre Company’s founding Artistic Director, Ross Stenhouse in 2013. Ten years later, following his passing in 2022, they dedicate this production to him.
BRUNTON THEATRE TRUST
Brunton Theatre Trust is dedicated to bringing the very best theatre, music, dance, comedy, children’s theatre, screenings and entertainment to East Lothian, sharing it with as many people as possible. They also provide opportunities for involvement and participation in the arts through education and outreach activities for all sections of the community including harder to reach groups.
Since March 2023, roofing issues at The Brunton venue resulted in the closure of the performance spaces leading to the team working with partners to move the performing arts programme out of The Brunton and into alternative venues in Musselburgh and Haddington.