Running Friday through Sunday, the children and adult members of the community theatre group will ham it up for audiences in their off-kilter rendition of Cinderella. The director’s notes promise that nothing will be original, and that’s pretty fitting for a Phnom Penh Player’s Panto… in a certain sense.
Taken from the English Christmas-season tradition, the musical is a spoof of a classic fairytale, always told with dirty jokes (but not too dirty – it is a children’s play after all!), characters in drag, buffoons, “look behind you” gags and a fairytale ending that’s guaranteed not to be the one you were expecting. Things likely will turn out well for Cinderella, but you have to have to watch to see how.
The Phnom Penh Players was founded over 20 years ago as a charity group dedicated to putting on quality theatre and donating the proceeds from performances to various charities in Cambodia.
This year’s Panto will benefit Children in Families (CIF), which provides family-based care and advocacy for orphans and vulnerable children. Through emergency, foster, disabilities and long-term illness care as well as community outreach and educational support, CIF does its part to bring happy endings as much as a fairytale.