Cinderella Remixed: Brighton’s alternative panto boasts cast made up of cream of Brighton’s queer scene

Brian Butler January 3, 2024

Writer, director, actor Allan Cardew’s association with Brighton’s alternative pantomime goes back to 1975, and this month for the first time he will be its producer as the panto comes back after a few years’ break.

Cinderella: Remixed, about to go into rehearsal, boasts some of the cream of Brighton’s queer talent, plus a few visitors. Leading the cast as the teenage ingenue virgin is Miss Jason (aka Jason Sutton). He’s joined by drag royalty Kara Van Park as Baroness Birdcage, and Mary Golds and Sandra as the two evil sisters, with Billie Gold as Fairy Gold.

Alfie Ordinary will play Butters, with local singing sensation Jason Lee Howlett as Prince Harry, Scottish singing star Allan Jay as Dandini, and Brighton Academy’s Luke Lunn and Rosen Newsome as ensemble and dancers.

Over a post-Christmas flat white Allan told me about the history of the show. “It began in 1967, under the direction of Tony Stewart. My first appearance was in 1975, when I played the Genie of the Fly Button, and later directed two of them, before Covid hit.”

Allan Cardew

This year the directorial baton has passed to Paul Lawrence Thomas (aka Cosmic), who’s adapted a generic panto text to suit the actual performers he has cast. Allan said: “we’ve got dancers, we’ve got a live band and a new venue – the Ironworks Studios.”

The show has a proud history of fundraising for the LGBTQ+ community and this year’s beneficiary is local HIV charity Sussex Beacon, with a special after-show entertainment on January 25 to raise extra funds.

I asked Allan if the fact the cast is made up of strong, well-known and well-liked soloists might create some tension. He was adamant: “we are stronger because they’re all soloists in their own right. We’ve got some experienced legit panto performers. They will make a terrific ensemble. There’ll be twists and plenty of surprises.”

Allan admits it’s a risky business producing a show in a relatively small venue for a short run, but is hoping if it’s a success that he can mount other productions during the coming year, adding: “we’re trying to raise as much as we can for the Sussex Beacon and so far advance tickets are doing well.”

Cinderella: Remixed runs from January 24-28 at the Ironworks Studios in Brighton. Tickets HERE