Despite the cold, rainy night, I arrived at the Dalrymple Hall bursting with anticipation for this year’s Christmas panto: Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society’s production of Cinderella.
When I walked in, the reception area was teaming with people who were looking forward to the evening’s entertainment.
The show got off to a fantastic start with a group performance of “Can You Feel It?”, and within moments the audience was introduced to a clutch of characters including: Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, played by Jay Gray; cheeky chappy Buttons, played by Colin Clark; Dandini played by Laura Minto; and of course Cinderella herself, played by Laura Scott.
The best entrance of the night was when the ‘Beautiful Sisters’ arrived by walking through the audience with their suitcases in tow.
As expected, the production was filled with music and dancing: there were terrific performances of hits from artists including Bruno Mars, Leona Lewis, One Direction and The Script. But the best vocals of the night came from Buttons, with his cover of McFly’s ‘Obviously’.
There were lashings of Doric from the ‘Beautiful Sisters’, as played by Steve Chicken and Bill Paterson, who also happened to have the best lines. At one point, the pair even squirted the audience with water guns, to the ecstasy of the younger panto-goers.
And the Fairy Godmother, played by Angela Ellis, delighted by delivering her lines in rhyme.
But to add light and shade, the show was peppered with scary moments, too - not least when Cinderella’s stepmother ruined the long-suffering girl’s dress.
Not only was the performance captivating but the background scenery of the show exuded creativity and artistry as well. The first half of the show went out with a bang - literally - with indoor fireworks.
Following an ice cream-laden interval, the second half of the show opened with another fantastic group dance. Having met Cinderella at the ball, the handsome prince, played by Irene Buchan, promised to marry the girl whose foot fitted the famous glass slipper. The audience looked on as Cinderella tried on the shoe, securing her ‘happy ever after’.
By the end, no-one was left in any doubt about the effort and energy that went into the production. No lines were forgotten, and each of the characters seemed indispensable to the show. The ‘Beautiful Sisters’, in particular, were hilarious. Laura Scott, Jay Gray and Colin Clark also gave pristine performances.
The night ended with an energetic sing-along, including songs such as ‘Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney’, ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’.
The audience were captivated during the show, thanks to the acting, singing and dancing throughout, even if some of the jokes seemed lost on the younger members of the audience. The hard work of the actors and performers on stage made it easy to forget you were watching a production in the Dalrymple Hall, not His Majesty’s Theatre.