Bringing the magic of panto to the Kirkcaldy stage

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The finishing touches are being put to this year’s pantomime at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy, the classic tale of Cinderella.

Director Alisdair Hawthorn took a break from the busy rehearsals to speak to the Fife Free Press, saying he was delighted to be back in familiar territory.

“I’ve been here before and directed pantos so it’s really great to be in Fife,” he said.

“Rehearsals are going very well. We have three groups of eight youngsters this year and they have been working very hard.

“I always try and encourage a cast to contribute as much as possible so if there’s a joke that they think is really funny or something topical or local that they know about then we’ll try to involve that as much as possible. I’m anticipating a lot of that!”

Fife Cultural Trust broke with tradition this year to work with Imagine Theatre – a Coventry-based company who stage pantos all over the UK.

“I know for a fact that they are delighted to be here,” Alisdair said. “They have around 20 or so pantos across the country this year. They know what they are doing.”

The script comes from the award-winning duo of Iain Lachlin and Will Brenton, perhaps best known as writers of the hit kids’ show The Tweenies.

Alisdair said the pair were part of a team effort.

“That’s what a panto is about. From those on stage, backstage, to those behind the scenes like the set builders and the writers. It’s not just about one person and I hope that audiences are aware of that.

“We’ve got a very strong cast with a great deal of panto experience and they’ll bring their own elements to it.”

The Ugly Sisters – Flatula and Verruca – are played by Derek McGhie and Greg Powrie, who say audiences are in for a treat.

Derek said: “There’s plenty of comedy but there’s plenty of story as well.

“It’s going to look amazing and the kids are really good and our costumes are amazing – very understated!”

Greg added: “We’ve done panto together before but this is the first time we’ve done the double act which is great. It’s a good script and there’s a lot of fun to be had.

“Imagine Theatre always bring a lot to the set - the carriage looks spectacular.”

Alisdair said he hopes this year’s festive audience enjoy the show as much as the cast and crew have getting it ready.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great spectacle,” he said.

“The costumes are particularly good and there are some beautiful, magical elements to the show.

“I don’t want to give too much away but the act one transformation is spectacular – even if I say so myself!

“There’s an expression that we use:‘you can see the money on the stage’ and you definitely are in this show. It’s very glamorous and, of course, it’s very funny with a lot of humour in it.

“It’s a traditional story of course, but there are a few twists and surprises along the way!”

Cinderella starts of Friday, December 9 and runs until January 7.