Cinderella (Trinity Dowling) is greeted by Prince Charming (Robin Dykes) in St. Luke’s Players production running Dec. 15 to Jan. 1. (Photo submitted)

St. Luke’s swept up in Cinderella Christmas panto

Cinderella promises plenty of laughs when it takes the St. Luke’s stage Dec. 15 to Jan. 1

It’s a familiar tale, but St. Luke’s Players promises to bring a few surprises to the stage when the curtain rises on Cinderella later this month.

The classic fairy tale is the latest production to undergo a transformation to St. Luke’s holiday tradition of a Christmas panto.

“A panto is a spoof on a fairy tale. It always has a villain and it always has a dame,” said Janine Longy, who is co-directing Cinderella with Neville Owen. “This time we have stepsisters, so we have two dames (men dressed up in women’s clothing) and they’re very funny.”

Steve Eastman and Mike Chadwick take on the roles of the wicked stepsisters while Trinity Dowling is Cinderella and Robin Dykes is her Prince Charming.

Those are just a few members in the cast of 25, aged 10 to over 70, in the classic tale written by St. Luke’s regulars Dave and Helena Hitchcock.

“Poor Cinderella, her father marries an evil stepmother. And there’s also an evil landlady trying to collect the rent,” said Longy, who has performed in five pantos with Cinderella being her first time in the director’s chair.

The St. Luke’s version follows the traditional tale (with a few more laughs) as Cinderella heads to the prince’s ball in a pumpkin transformed into a carriage by her fairy godmother.

“At the end of the show, the ugly stepsisters try and fit into the slippers but they can’t,” said Longy. “Cinderella fits her lost slipper and runs away with her prince and everybody lives happily ever after.”

Performances run in St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd., Dec. 15, 20, 21, 22, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 16, 17, 23, 26, 30, 31 and Jan. 1. Tickets are $16 (children under 12 $8) and available on (search Cinderella, Victoria) or at The Papery, 669 Fort St.

Longy advises people to get their tickets fast as there’s always a packed house for St. Luke’s Christmas pantos.

“Tickets sell out fast, but we will often still have tickets available but you just might not get an evening of choice,” she said.

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