Cinders and co having a ball at Heriot's McFie Hall

The well-loved story of Cinderella is set in stone, its cherished plot devices chained up for eternity, but once in a while it's possible to be surprised.

The cast of Cinderella at McFie Hall, Heriot, this weekend.
The cast of Cinderella at McFie Hall, Heriot, this weekend.

This weekend, Heriot Players present the timeless tale for two sold-out shows at McFie Hall on Friday and Saturday, and even if you’re lucky enough to go both nights, chances are you’ll still find something new to rave about.

It’s traditionally the show which marks the beginning of panto season, and this year, they’ve outdone themselves.

They've crammed more plot twists, lung-busting songs, evil malarkey, absolutely-faaabulous-dahling audience participation and, of course massive laughs, into the tale than you could fit in an ugly sister’s outsized flipflop.

The happy couple, Prince (Sue Holland) and Cinderella (Emma Clark).

Slick it isn’t, but you'd be terribly disappointed if it was. This troupe manages to come up with just the right mixture of undoubtable talent, the odd fluffed line, amazing comedic timing and sheer chaos to end up with something completely unique.

And that's what makes the Heriot Panto this reviewer’s most looked forward to show of them all.

With the panto cancelled last year, this is the first time villagers are being treated to a show in their newly-refurbished hall.

So, to the show, produced by the amazing Fran Bennett.

The brilliant Ugly sisters, Borgia and Lucretia, played by Gavin Potter and Gregor Hall.

There are so many loaded lines leading into bursts of song … everything from What a Wonderful World by Sam Cooke to the old skiffle classic My Old Man’s a Dustman via the Hokey Cokey … it’s definitely got the X-Factor.

Highlights are Kate Finlayson’s scheming wicked stepmum Gertie (you’d swear she actually loves being booed, even in real life); the absolutely anarchic diabolic duo Lucritia and Borgia, Gregor Hall and Gavin Potter (so much fun there should be a law against it); the increasingly tipsy rodent played by Douglas Boyle; and of course, the lead duo of Emma Clark and Sue Holland, who’ll have you dancing all night.

Cast – Cinderella: Emma Clark; Buttons: Graeme Clark; Algie: Helen Brown; Gertie: Kate Finlayson; Lucritia: Gregor Hall; Borgia: Gavin Potter; King: Gerry Starrs; Queen: Lisa Starrs; Prince: Sue Holland; Dandini: Fiona Eades; Fairy Godmother: Steff Potter; Mixie: Lyndsey Stoddart; Maxie: Kelly Robertson; Martie: Alison Crabbe; Melvin: Douglas Boyle; Pub Punters: Alison Crabbe, Lyndsey Stoddart and Kelly Robertson.

All on stage for the fabulous finale.