By Bejay Browne
Will Cinderella go to the ball and will she find her Prince Charming? In Paphos she will as two separate productions of this favourite tale bring the Christmas tradition of pantomime to the town.
As audiences prepare to be entertained with songs, slapstick comedy and dance, men playing women and women playing men, the story of Cinderella is to be adapted in two very different ways. Funtastic entertainment agency is presenting a number of traditional performances of ‘Once upon a time in Paphos-Cinderella’ complete with an evil step mother, a fairy godmother and the two ugly sisters. The company is promoting the show as the first professional panto to come to Paphos.
The second panto production to hit Paphos is a one- off called Ella, a modern take on the old story starring pupils from the Young Stars Theatre and performing arts school.
Funtastic’s Becky Hartley said: “This is going to be a fabulous show and great fun for all of the family. Everyone involved is classed as a professional act – whether it’s as a singer, dancer or both. The cast is all professional and have a lot of experience in entertaining both in Cyprus and the UK.”
This high standard of entertainment is reflected in the ticket price – adults will pay €25 and children €10. But there are discount tickets available for performances on Decemer 15 and January 1.
“There is a full evening’s entertainment which is covered by the cost of the ticket,” Hartley said, “this includes face painting for children before the panto, the performance itself, a charity raffle afterwards in aid of the Paphos cancer patients support group and then a disco until midnight.”
The main cast consists of eight well-known Paphos-based performers and the chorus is made up of dancers from the Thompson school of dance. “The cast includes hugely talented Amy Black as Cinderella; she is leading the cast and is very experienced in producing and performing in shows and panto in the UK. Prince Charming is being played by another experienced panto performer, Beth Terry.”
Other cast members include Simone Swift and Jezebel Groove, who are both presenters on Rock FM radio as well as being professional singers. They play the evil step mother and the fairy godmother respectively.
Richard Gollings, better known as Paphos’ answer to Michael Jackson with his tribute act, will slip into a frock and take on the role of an ugly sister named Louise. Mark Hobbs – otherwise known as Miss Debonair – a drag queen act- will take on the role of the second ugly sister, named Thelma. Buttons will be played by international singer Chris Duffy and Sam Cockburn completes the cast as Dandini.
Audience participation is what you would expect from a traditional panto says Hartley, and dancing and singing, as well as the usual ‘he’s behind you’ and booing and hissing the baddies will be encouraged.
Cinderella will be performed at Ta Astra in Paphos old town throughout December and early January with the first performance today.
Meanwhile Ella offers a “modern day take on the traditional panto of Cinderella” says Matthew Edmondson who takes on the part of teacher to a collection of children from Young Stars, who will be “dancing some great pieces”.
In it pop star ‘Diddy P’ is the Prince Charming. “He chooses our ‘Cinderella’ to appear in his music video. The production is very cleverly done and the kids are incredibly talented. The choreography is definitely up to the standard of any professional show,” he said. Musical numbers will include ‘Best Song Ever’, ‘Roar’, ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Skyscraper’.
Once upon a time in Paphos-Cinderella
Presented by Funtastic at Ta Astra in Paphos old town. Performances December 1 at 19:30, December 15 at 19:30, December 29 at 15:00 & 19:30 and January 2 at 15:00 & 19:30. Tickets: €25 adults and €10 children, €50 family tickets. Tel: 99 863898.
Presented by Young stars theatre school with Matthew Edmondson at the Markedion Theatre. Sunday December 8th at 7.30pm. Tickets €10 adult and €5 for under 16s. Tel: 99 586116