"Perfect Holiday Fun" - Review of Cinderella and the Pirates

While booing and hissing from the audience during a theatrical production would ordinarily be cause for concern, when it comes to pantomime it’s a sure sign that things are going according to plan.

Cinderella (Kiara Wiese) and Frederic (Jemmah Sims)

Cinderella (Kiara Wiese) and Frederic (Jemmah Sims)

And South Coast Choral and Arts Society’s Cinderella and the Pirates, which opened at the Town Hall on Saturday night, is true-to-form ‘panto’ which caters to the tastes of the young, the old, and just about everybody in between.

Writer Jonathan Ogilvie (who also directs) has produced a delightful and clever piece of entertainment with all the pantomime’s classic elements including slapstick comedy, double entendre, Ronnie Barker-style wordplay, song, dance, topical jokes and gender role reversals. Oh yes, and audience participation.

The lead roles are perfectly cast. Kiara Wiese and Jemmah Sims as Cinderella and Frederic (or the principal boy and girl) are suitably buoyant and engaging; Mick McKinlay as Pirate King is the villain we all love to hate; Chris Searle is endearing as Ruthie, the ship’s cook with stars in her eyes; Pip Burfield is bumblingly likable as Cinderella’s father and Heather Kraehenbuehl and Sally Pearce are deliciously grotesque as her ‘beautiful’ sisters (AKA Kourtney and Khloe). Georgia Martin, in her first role with SCCAS, is terrifically relaxed and funny as Sam, the quartermaster of the pirates’ ship and Rebecca Tymmons does a very nice (and unexpected) comic turn as the fairy godmother, albeit in the guise of a certain very famous pirate (no ‘spoilers’ here).

The evil Pirate King (Mick McKinlay) and his band of pirates.

The evil Pirate King (Mick McKinlay) and his band of pirates.

The ensemble work, featuring choreography by Leah Fitzsimmons, is lively and enthusiastic and music and songs (from sources as disparate as Britney Spears and Queen) are well served by both cast and orchestra, under the musical directorship of Susie Lush and Serenity Ogilvie. There are swords, corsets and bustles aplenty courtesy of designer Millie Doherty, whose costumes for Kourtney and Khloe and for Cinderella’s transformation for the ball are positively inspired. 

Cinderella and the Pirates is perfect holiday fun to be shared by family and friends.
“Did you like it, boys and girls?”
“Yes, we did!”

Reviewed by Catie Milte 8/10/17

Cinderella and the Pirates runs through to the end of the October school holidays with the following performance times:

Wednesday 11 October 7:30pm
Thursday 12 October 2:00pm
Friday 13 October 2:00pm
Saturday 14 October 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Victor Harbor Town Hall

Tickets can be purchased using the link below, from Toop Motors (RAA) 66 Ocean St, or at the door.