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Cinderella is tradition at its best
Start the new year with a bang at the Kings Langley Players’ pantomime, Cinderella. Director Andrew Knight says he just wouldn’t dream of staging the much-loved rags to riches tale without a few special effects.
“One of the first pantos I ever went to was Cinderella at The Watersmeet,“ recalls Andrew. “I never used to like the bangs and flashes but you’ve got to have several going off in this. You can’t do Cinderella without the pyrotechnics.“
Andrew was born in Watford and brought up with musical theatre. He has been with Kings Langley Players for the past 20 years and last appeared with them in Art. He has served his apprenticeship performing in numerous pantomimes over the years, including two appearances in previous productions of Cinderella, as an Ugly Sister and then as Dandini.
Apart from the up-to-date styling, Andrew promises a lot of panto tradition in his show.
“I like the traditional feel to it; that’s what panto is all about. Women playing men and men playing women. I always had an idea of who could play what and luckily I didn’t have to look very far. I was just able to cast people from auditions, which is a luxury. Cinderella has to be so right and the part could almost have been written for Sophie Dowling – our Cinders.“
Andrew admits this is his very favourite pantomime show.
You can’t do Cinderella without the pyrotechnicsAndrew Knight
“For me there is nothing to touch Cinderella. It’s based on old folklore and has the strongest story line. It’s fun, sad and empathetic, as well as having a sinister side – hopefully we can bring it all out. Cinders is bullied and you do hear a lot of that in real life but the story is also full of enchanting and tender moments, like when Cinders can’t go to ball, so Buttons arranges a makeshift ball for her.“
Chris Jordan returns as scriptwriter following success with his well-received versions of Aladdin and Snow White with Clive Swan as musical director and Julie Edgar as choreographer.
Andrew hints at lots of surprises in store.
“We’ve a spectacular ballroom scene – with a difference! And plenty of comedy and slapstick. One manic scene, set in a beauty parlour, features our fabulous Ugly Sisters, Marj and Flora, a steam bath, a hair machine and a massage bed. It’s the traditional messy scene but this year it’s set in Chumpneys where the sisters are getting ready for the ball and Buttons gets his own back by making sure all their beauty treatments go wrong.“
Cinderella plays at Kings Langley Community Centre, The Nap, Kings Langley from January 12-14. Details: 07906 695959.