Dames at the double for Charming panto

Berwick successful auditionees for the junior chorus and the cast of this years panto at the Maltings, Cinderella
Berwick successful auditionees for the junior chorus and the cast of this years panto at the Maltings, Cinderella

They’ve taken audiences up the beanstalk and on a magic carpet ride so it was a shoe in that a certain panto company would be back in Berwick for another year.

From the team who brought you ‘Aladdin’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Jack & the Beanstalk’ comes ‘Cinderella’, which opens at The Maltings on Tuesday.

And with more costumes than ever and not one but two dames, Bespoke Theatre are looking set to give Berwick its biggest panto to date.

After working with the Royal Shakespeare Company last Christmas, Zoe Waterman is back at the helm as director and although he won’t be appearing on stage this year, Morgan Brind has penned ‘Cinderella.

Morgan’s absence means there are some pretty big dame platform shoes to fill but raring to go with flamboyant frocks are Dan Smith and James Peake who will play ugly sisters Melody and Suki.

Dan is no stranger to Berwick, having sent a shiver down the spine as Abanazar in ‘Aladdin’ but he told ‘WOW’ that he was thrilled his wish to be a dame had been granted.

“I’ve been wanting to be a dame since ‘Aladdin’ so it’s great to finally be allowed to do it,” he commented.

“Melody is more mean than evil; she has no desire to actually kill anyone like Abanazar and her outfits are much more spectacular!”

“We even have themes to our outfits,” James added.

The panto sweet to the sisters’ sour is of course ‘Cinderella’, a role that will be filled by newcomer Abbey Tucker.

I’m so excited to be a princess,” she enthused.

“I auditioned for the show back in the summer and was thrilled when I got the part.

“Being in a pantomime is everything I thought it would be and more. I get to wear an amazing dress but I’m sure I’ll be tempted to add more glitter- you can never have too much!”

As luck would have it Abbey’s Prince Charming was already a familiar face as the guy who’s playing him, Finlay Bain, studied at the same drama school.

“We auditioned on different days so it’s just pure coincidence,” Finlay told ‘WOW’.

“I was really happy to get the role of the prince, especially as he’s not just a cheesy cringe ball he has a bit more about him.”

Unfortunately for Cinders and the Prince they have more than just the ugly sisters to contend with, this year’s resident queen of mean is Davina, the wicked stepmother.

As far as villains go Natalie Ball’s Carabosse was about as sinister as they come in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, so it’s no surprise she’s back to prompt a cacophony of boos once again.

“I think I may have been typecast but it’s so much fun,” Natalie joked.

I’ve found my forte although unfortunately unlike Carabosse, Davina hasn’t got any magic to call on.”

One person who is a dab hand with a wand is Louise Grantham, another of the ‘Sleeping Beauity’ cast who will aim to sprinkle some light on Davina’s shade as the Fairy Godmother.

“She’s not as ditsy as my ‘Sleeping Beauty’ character but definitely as glitzy!”

Completing the principal cast are Alan Bowles as Buttons and Berwick’s own Ross Graham as Dandini.

And of course youngsters from the town will once again form the show’s junior chorus, adding their voices to songs from artists like David Guetta, Carly Rae Jepsen and Bonnie Tyler.