Despite Karen Dunbar playing the Fairy Godmother through the filter of a Glaswegian punter, Cinderella is the most traditional of the pantomimes on in this part of the world. The humour is left to the dames (Gavin Mitchell and Gordon Cooper), Dandini (Steven McNicoll), Buttons (Des Clarke) and Dunbar: Cinderella and Prince Charming take care of singing and romantic duties and the jokes are familiar enough to encourage the necessary audience participation.
The King’s Glasgow remains the most iconic pantomime in Glasgow - despite challenges from the SECC and the Pavilion - and its charm comes from how the cast negotiates the expected set pieces. Dunbar’s twist on the Fairy Godmother is smart - she lapses from fairy poetry into patter for cheeky observations - and builds a strong connection with the audience while Mitchell and Cooper are appropriately extravagant and coarse.
The relationship between the audience and the performers is established long before the curtain goes up: the predictability of the gags, the inclusion of a spectacular end to the first half, the final sing-along are all greeted like old friends. Alongside the high production values, Cinderella relies heavily on this atmosphere but, as Dunbar makes clear, a little variation brings a more immediate vitality and personality.