Perth Theatre’s first virtual pantomime has been hailed an international hit, with viewers tuning in from countries around the world and rave reviews from some of the industry’s toughest critics.
Bosses at Horsecross Arts were crushed when they were forced to postpone this year’s planned production of Cinderella.
But determined not to let families miss out on their traditional festive treat, veteran panto star Barrie Hunter put together a radically redesigned Covid-compliant show.
Originally planned as an online performance with a small live audience following characters around the theatre, the show – titled Oh Yes We Are! – became virtual-only as tougher restrictions were introduced across Perth and Kinross.
Horsecross is celebrating the interactive show’s success, having attracted viewers from continental Europe, Canada, America, Singapore and Australia.
It even achieved a glowing five star review from industry bible The Stage, which noted the show had an “unmistakable and perfectly balanced emotional power that would hold its own against the finest seasonal shows of normal times.”
The New York Times recommended the show to its readers, writing it “spreads Southern hemisphere joy.”
Perth Theatre’s artistic director Lu Kemp said: “It’s terrifically exciting to see people across the world enjoying Perth Theatre panto.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, so it’s heart-warming to be able to share some Christmas joy together.”
She said: “The live interactive broadcast is a surprisingly intimate experience, it allows the cast to see who is watching and engage directly with them.
“The viewers can boo and hiss and the cast can hear them and we do the usual personalised shout outs.”
Ms Kemp said: “It’s all a wonderful endorsement of all the hard work that the team has put in over the last few months to come up with this amazing show that somehow gives the feeling of being in Perth Theatre even when watched on screen. Maybe some of our new friends will make the journey to Perth to see Cinderella in 2021.”