THE magic of Cinderella will cast a spell on you this October as the Wembley Theatre Company brings the classic fairytale to life as a pantomime.
Written by Tony Nicholls and directed by Bryce Manning, the show takes the traditional story and mixes in a range of extraordinary characters including a stepmother full of malapropisms and an unlikely fairy godmother.
Thrown into the mix is a range of jokes, slapstick, puns, songs and laughter as Cinderella journeys from her downtrodden existence to princess life.
“Tony Nicholls’ pantomimes never stray far from the expected plot structure we’re all familiar with,” Bryce said.
“While we know we are watching Cinderella, Tony includes sub-plots, sub-sub-plots, songs and a myriad of characters that make us laugh and cry – but never distract from what we all know will happen.
“The challenge for a theatre director is to find a heartbeat in the script.
“It normally takes four or five rehearsals before the cast is clear and confident with the direction I am taking them.
“It’s then they take ownership of their characters and the play and each actor starts the process of playing a part in this living, breathing thing called theatre.”
Involved in acting, directing and theatre teaching since 1984, Bryce trained as an actor at the University of Western Sydney before moving back to Perth to start his teaching career.
He formed the Wembley Theatre Company in 1996 and has been producing, directing, writing and acting in the company’s annual productions for the past 24 years.
The company has seven pantomimes it performs in rotation and last staged Cinderella in 2014.
“This year’s production will be vastly improved,” Bryce said. “We have new LED lights, stage microphones, stunning new costumes and an impressive smoke machine.”
Cinderella plays at 7pm October 16, 23 and 30 and 2pm October 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and November 1. Tickets are $17, $12 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BLKAD.
The pantomime is showing at the Wembley Community Centre, 40 Alexander Street, Wembley.