Written by John Scadding

Monday 13th January to Saturday 18th January 1975

Produced and Directed by John Scadding

The rags to riches tale via pumpkin and prince. This version of the classic pantomime was given a 70s makeover by Bench member John Scadding.

AuthorJohn Scadding

John Scadding

John Scadding has been an amateur actor, director and playwright with Bench Theatre during his membership from 1972. As an actor, his first role with Bench Theatre was in John van Druten's 'I Am a Camera'. The first play produced by Bench theatre which was written by John Scadding, was Cinderella in 1975. John is currently a life member of Bench Theatre.


Cinderella is a well-known classic folk tale of a young woman who is victimised and despised by the daughters of her father's second wife.

One of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault in 1697. The popularity of his tale was due to his additions to the story including the pumpkin, the fairy-godmother and the introduction of glass slippers. It was widely believed that in Perrault's version, Cinderella wore fur boots ("pantoufle en vair"), and that when the story was translated into English, vair was mistaken for verre (glass), resulting in glass slippers and that the story has remained this way ever since. Another well-known version was recorded by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the 19th century. In this version, the stepsisters try to trick the prince by cutting off parts of their feet in order to get the slipper to fit. The prince is alerted by two pigeons who peck out the stepsisters' eyes, thus sealing their fate as blind beggars for the rest of their lives.

Writer John Scadding incorporated all the traditional elements of panto into his script, he also tried to push Cinderella into 1975, by "cutting down on unlikely magic and getting her a Prince Charming by more up to date tricks". Buttons was dyslexic, and the audience were allocated household appliances to bring out from the auditorium as wedding presents in the finale. The cast went on a "hunting" expedition and sang a hunting song, with various back-stage hands throwing stuffed birds from behind the set in true slap-stick style, to simulate them being shot!

The Bench Production

Cinderella poster image

Bench Theatre's original name was 'Theatre Union' and was later changed to reflect the name of the theatre in West Street where most of their productions were staged. This production was performed under the original Theatre Union name and staged at The Bench Theatre building in West Street, which was their home for nearly 7 years.


CinderellaJan Lille
ButtonsPeter Duncan
Prince CharmingIngrid Caddy
DandiniPeter Holding
Daphne (Ugly Sister)Barry Reilly
Diana (Ugly Sister)Tim Mahoney
The Baron HardupDavid Spackman
The Fairy QueenJulie Morgan
FairiesBenita Oakley
Sharon Rose
Jill Morris
Jen Jones
The ChorusDerek Cusdin
Eve Moore
Hazel Rhymes
Brian Sweatman
Jill Duncan
Ian Nelson
Catriona McHugh
Spokey Wheeler


John Scadding
Designer David Lings
Musician Tony Starr
Stage Manager Peter Corrigan
Deputy Stage Manager David Lings
Assistant Stage Managers Ed Sawyer
Tim Lille
Properties Cindy Prowse
Ian Nelson
Special Properties Mike Cuzner
Special Effects Brian Montefiore
Sound Ray Osborne
Wardrobe Angela Mansfield
Choreography Jen Jones
Spokey Wheeler
Lighting Designer Peter Orford
Lighting Will Palmer
House Manager Mo Burness

Director's Notes

Pantomime has been going around for a long time now. It goes right back to the 16th Century Commedia Del Arte. Our own English version of panto though is not quite so old, coming to its present form about 1850. It is important, however, to make sure that a traditional form of art does not get stuck. Circuses have changed with the times and so must panto. Our offering tonight is a panto plus! We hope you enjoy it, pluses and all.

John Scadding

Production Photographs