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FringeReview Scotland 2023


The Platform, Easterhouse

Genre: Theatre

Venue: The Platform, Easterhouse


Low Down

As usual, Cinders is the put upon young woman in a house of selfish people, but this time there is no Baron Hardup, her manipulated and cowed father, and though her two siblings are ugly and female, they end up being her pals. This is a new version where the Wicked Matriarch has “rescued” Cinderella from the orphanage. And then, The Prince decides that he wants to hold a ball, Cinderella is not allowed to go, her Furry Godmother saves her day and being the best singer, Cinderella manages to get the prize. In this show, that prize is not The Prince, but a new life as The Prince becomes enthralled by one of her sisters, and all three leave the mother alone and begin a new life together.


In a production which involved students from their next door neighbour – Glasgow Kelvin College – the Platform have gone for a narrative which has a more modern feel with a twist. As a structure for a new look at a classic it has a lot going for it, as we miss out on some of the troublesome traditional issues around gender profiles and responsibilities. Most importantly, however, as  a storyline, it hangs together, and it works.

That’s not to say it is perfect and does not suffer some issues. There are times it feels as if performers are still finding their feet rather than having the power of their undoubted ability to fill their stage. At times it appears  a lack of confidence inhibits our panto pals getting a much better reaction from the crowd that have turned up. There are some directorial issues where singers struggle a little with the range being asked for in the songs which have been chosen. That Cinderella has the best voice is never in doubt but sometimes the backing track and the volume fights against the range our actors have to play with. But, by the end of the show, the kids are all shouting to show where Cinderella has been put – in the washing machine – so what we have is a show that brings them all on board and delivers. Some performers are the key to that whilst others manage to give a supporting role as a crowd that also works very well.

It is a tough gig because the lack of that sparkly pantomime set and production support beyond the clothes and the costumes, means we need a lot from the performers. The set functions and the café and the moped are highlights, but it has the feel of being a little less than a priority. Having said that, the youngsters who had happened along were less concerned by that than with the fate of the heroine so all good.

This may have the feel of a cut down pantomime, and the resources available shall never be the same as what are on offer to those involved in bigger shows in larger venues, but this ha still got that community feel to it which the Platform are so good at. Priced where the local community can take advantage, without a costly traipse into the town for the bigger spectacle, this has gusto to replace the sparkly costumiers of the Kings, Theatre Royal, Pavilion etc. A wee bit more confidence in the performances and it would have fitted perfectly with the ethos and venue’s need to be a part of something bigger – the community. It therefore has one thing really going for it – a feeling of true community spirit. It is something that money can neither buy nor replace. Here, the Platform outdo the glitzy and the glamorous by having something which speaks to where they have their heart – in the community – whilst their head – the finances of it all – can benefit form that emotion. It has chutzpah, needs perhaps a little more flair but more than anything else it has the weans – big and small – shouting out, singing along, pointing to where you should look and hissing at the baddie. If that does not denote a successful pantomime, then I don’t know what dopes.. Oh no I don’t…