Pantomime is making a welcome return to the Byre Theatre in St Andrews this winter. Cinderella will run from 3 December until 2 January, starring returning favourites from acclaimed theatre company Bard in the Botanics alongside young people from Fife.
Mixing song and dance with family-friendly comedy, the traditional fairy tale has been given a twist by writer and director Gordon Barr, inspired by the glamour of Old Hollywood and the glitz of Strictly Come Dancing.
The production is this year also celebrating a true-life love story. Actors Lynne Jenkinson and Tom Duncan, who will star as Cinderella and Buttons, recently married after falling in love on the Byre’s stage in the theatre’s pantomime in 2012. They return from honeymoon in November just in time to take to the stage in Cinderella.
In Cinderella, Prince Colquhoun is on a quest to find a new dance partner. However pantomime villain Madam Zsa Zsa Diabolique is determined to see one of her daughters win the coveted dance role, putting Cinderella’s chances in jeopardy. Buttons is devoted to Cinderella, meaning that Fairy Sparkle has quite a task on her hands to get Cinderella to the dance in time.
Panto regulars Robert Elkin (Harpic) and Alan Steele (Windolene) will return to the Byre stage alongside Stephen Arden (Prince Colquhoun). They will be joined by 24 young people from across Fife. These young actors from the Byre Youth Theatre will perform as two separate casts, alternating performances throughout the pantomime’s run.
Also returning to the Byre is Fife-local Donna Hazelton (Fairy Sparkle/Madam Zsa Zsa Diabolique). Donna is best known for winning the Channel 4 programme Musicality in 2004. She subsequently performed in the West End production of Chicago and at the Olivier Awards. From Leven, Donna is well-loved by Byre audiences, having starred in the summer’s sold-out musical I Will Survive.
Cinderella director, Gordon Barr, said: “Bard in the Botanics couldn’t be more thrilled to be back at the Byre for panto this year. We all love the theatre and the audiences so much up here and we can’t wait to bring them the ‘godmother of all pantos’ – Cinderella! It’s the most beautiful, romantic story to tell and we’ve got a brilliant cast of Byre panto favourites to bring a bit of magic and sparkle to St Andrews this Christmas.”
Lynne Jenkinson, who will star as Cinderella, said: “I’m delighted to be returning to the theatre where I met my husband, Tom, when we worked together on the Byre’s pantomime Snow White. After tying the knot on Halloween, I get to share the stage with Tom once more, as Cinderella to his Buttons.”
Tickets for Cinderella in the Byre Theatre are available from www.byretheatre.com or by calling the Byre Box Office on 01334 475000.
Notes to editors
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Press night, Friday 4 December, 7pm
To request press tickets for this performance, please contact Ruth Mackie on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01334 467230. If you cannot make this date and would like to review Cinderella on a different date, please contact Ruth to discuss.
Gordon has been Artistic Director of Bard in the Botanics for twelve years, directing and producing more than 40 productions of Shakespeare’s work in that time. His own directing credits for the company include The Merchant of Venice, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pericles, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III and The Winter’s Tale. He wrote and directed last year’s Byre Theatre panto, Jack and the Beanstalk, following his production of Snow White in 2012. He has taught Shakespeare extensively, including a number of productions for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and has worked on projects for a variety of companies across Scotland, including NTS, macrobert, Cumbernauld Theatre, TAG and 7:84.