Just got back from a fantastic night watching Cinderella – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto at City Varieties Music Hall. I’m still smiling like a loon so I thought I’d put the feel good vibes to good use and make a playlist review about it.
I absolutely LOVE The City Varieties – it’s one of the country’s oldest surviving Music Halls, and the ideal size for things like comedy and intimate gigs. Because there’s very little between you and the stage, it is also perfect for pantomime audience participation – exciting children and unnerving adults simultaneously.
The whole cast play their character roles as well as singing and playing in the band live on stage. The jokes come thick and fast, many of them flying straight over the heads of little ones, bouncing off gutters and welcomed back up into ‘grown-up’ minds. Flying over all our heads at one point were the ‘boulders’ in the legendary boulder fight which was both bonkers and highly giggle inducing.
The singing was great – particularly from Rubella the wicked stepmother. I thought Baron Hardup was really funny and strangely attractive despite his white panto wig – but that probably says more about my love of costume than anything else. When Dandini danced and sang he reminded me of Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs and that moment last year when during a performance he climbed on the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey in skinny jeans – I actually can’t remember what he sang because of those jeans… Anyway – everyone was fab but the Ugly Sisters stole the show with their costumes (especially the Princess Beatrice and Eugenie fascinators), filthy lines and general fierceness *snaps* It looks like such fun to play those parts.
This is the second year running I’ve seen the City Varieties Pantomime and I’m going to make it an annual tradition from now on. It’s a great way of introducing kids to theatre – not that I personally did this but it’s a pleasure to see those around me enjoying themselves (even when they nearly take my eye out with a flashing toy sword – bless) and I don’t think it can be beaten for festive cheer.
Even though the panto is full of well known songs, I’ve re-soundtracked it for no other reason than I can’t help myself. Explanations of song choices are below.
- Adam & The Ants – Prince Charming (For our leading man)
- Terence Trent D’Arby – Wishing Well (Where our heroine Cinderella goes every day, wishing and hoping her for the day her Prince will come. Also the focus point of a very funny scene for Buttons and Baron Hardup)
- Robert Palmer – Some Guys Have All The Luck (Poor Buttons and his unrequited love for Cinders)
- Madonna – Material Girl (Rubella de Zeez is just after Baron Hardup for his money, and plans to bump him off and steal his cash – not realising he’s broke, although the name should give it away)
- Aerosmith – Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (For the amazing dames The Ugly Sisters)
- Pixies – Here Comes Your Man (Hurrah – it’s love at first sight!)
- Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her? (A mysterious disappearance at midnight)
- Jackson 5 – If The Shoe Don’t Fit (The search for the owner of the glass slipper is a success)
- Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee La Da Da) (Cinders clearly found inspiration from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding when dress shopping! Amazing work from the costume department!)
- R.E.M. – Shiny Happy People (And they all lived happily ever after!)
Cinderella is running until 13 January. For more details visit the website and follow @CityVarieties on Twitter. You can even follow one of the Ugly Sisters – @HerniaDeZeez played by the fantastic @dandecruzactor
Playlist by @Wandapops – Leeds Playlist is my blog, thanks for reading