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Cinderella opens Hills Youth Theatre 30th Anniversary Season
Cinderella, the timeless tale told throughout generations across the world is back on stage this January. Presented by the Hills Youth Theatre to open their 30th anniversary season, join the talented cast as they bring the fun and magic of pantomime to life.
For the uninitiated, 'Pantomime' is a type of musical comedy, designed for family entertainment. Pantomime encourages audience participation in sing-a-long songs and calling out to the performers during slapstick comedy, dancing and side-splitting humour, loosely based around a well-known fairy tale. The style was developed in England it is still regularly performed during the Christmas and holiday season. In keeping with tradition, Joan Leslie, founder and now patron of the Hills Youth Theatre (HYT) wrote and directed a pantomime, performed by HYT students every January.
Cinderella - A Pantomime, Official Hills Youth Theatre Poster
Joan Leslie founded the Hills Youth Theatre in 1986. The experience she brought to teaching at the Stirling Institute included an acclaimed career of pantomime and theatre performances with world renowned entertainers such as Benny Hill, Harry Seacombe, Bert Newton and Ernie Sigley, as well as over 10 years touring in the principal role of Snow White in the Disney/Rudas production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Cinderella was the first pantomime performed by HYT students in 1992, and appropriately has been chosen to celebrate Joan, now patron of HYT and their 30th anniversary.
Current HYT tutor, Di Mason, fondly recalls many shows and pantomimes with Joan and HYT. "I could never believe the organized chaos that was taking place on stage, with cream bun fights to twists in the plot and dancing cows! Joan knew where every child should be standing and what every child needed to do. The students loved immersing themselves in the fun of pantomime and taking their audience on an amazing adventure full of magic and mayhem. Joan knew the right formula for a good old fashioned pantomime and she inspired the students to take risks and believe in themselves as they pranced and danced around the stage. And everyone, cast & audience alike had a smile on their face".
Joan Leslie - a photo from on tour as the principal role of Snow White in the Disney/Rudas production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The story of Cinderella itself follows the traditional tale, complete with Ugly step-sisters, the faithful Buttons, a Prince and Cinderella's Fairy Godmother (the Dame in the show in true pantomime fashion). The story cavorts through mayhem, humour, the splendour of the Ball and until the stroke of midnight and ensuing hunt for the glass slipper's owner toward a glorious, happy ending. Twists, turns, music, mirth, magic, mayhem and madcap audience participation make this a wonderful and entertaining production that the whole family will enjoy.
HYT is a community based non-profit organisation which provides quality drama education and performance opportunities to students aged from 5 to 25, in the Stirling and surrounding hills areas. The aim of classes is to provide a fun approach to dramatic art through practical experience, that is, drama games and other drama skills. Many former students would be able to fondly reminisce of their time at HYT and attest to the skills, value and experience learnt through drama tuition and performance.
Cinderella with her evil step-mother and the ugly step-sisters