The first Fictional Characters in Panto feature is brought to you by Liz Harris.
Christmas is the time of goodwill, so I’m relying on you being good-willing enough to let me take liberties when likening my novella, A WESTERN HEART, with the pantomime CINDERELLA.
Why Cinderella? Well, it’s that a moral of the Cinderella story is that while it’s an advantage to have intelligence, breeding and common sense, even these may fail to bring you success without the intervention of a fairy godmother. I think we can include fairy godfather in that, too. Yes, first liberty!
So here is my cast of characters:
Prince Charming: Will Hyde
Think Clint Eastwood, years ago in his lean, good-looking cowboy days. A taut, tanned young Clint Eastwood with sun-streaked hair. Oh, yes!
Deep down, we all want to see ourselves in the Cinderella role as she gets the prince.
And we can. Any one of us could be Rose. After all, we are all slender and stunning, aren’t we, with hair that does what we ask and falls with tantalising tendrils around our face? And like Rose, we’re even more alluring and appealing when drenched in rain; not red-nosed and pinched, with hair stuck in lank wet strands against sodden cheeks.
Wicked Stepmother: Complacency
Cinders’ stepmother kept her away from the Ball. For Rose, it wasn’t a wicked stepmother that stopped her from securing her prince at Hope Town’s annual celebration of the start of summer, it was her own self-blindness and complacency. It was as if Complacency had cast a spell over her.
The Ugly Sisters: Cora McKinley & Mattie Hyde
Ugly Sister, actually; aided and abetted by her friend, Will’s sister. And not that ugly, either: Cora was very pretty outside.
It was a weeny bit of ugliness inside her that made her scheme against Rose and cast eyes filled with yearning towards Will. Yes, Will! The man whom Rose had thought was going to be her prince!! And unfortunately, when Will looked at Cora, he couldn’t see what lay beneath…
Divine Godfather: Nate Galloway
I kind of prefer ‘Divine’ to ‘Fairy’ as it’s definitely Richard Armitage, no less, for Nate.
This is Nate ‘…like Will, he was tall and lean. But whereas Will’s skin was the colour of liquid gold and his eyes as blue as the midday sky, the visitor’s skin was only lightly sun-browned. And whereas Will’s hair had been streaked fair by the sun, the visitor’s hair was as dark as his heavy-lidded eyes. Whatever the stranger’s business, he certainly wasn’t out on the range every day in all weathers.’
Nate makes Rose question what she feels, or doesn’t feel, for Will whom, she’d always thought, had been cast by Destiny in the role of her prince. It was Nate who – Stop!
That’s me stopping me. If I don’t stop, I’ll give you a spoiler, and I don’t want to do that so I’m moving on.
That’s a very easy one. The girls would go by horse, wagon or, most likely, they’d take the buggy. Will Hyde’s ranch was a good ride from the McKinley ranch, so the pumpkin that would take her to the man she’d always considered to be her prince-in-waiting was a buggy.
That’s not such an easy one. However, the lost slipper proved that Cinders was the woman the prince had lusted after (delete that) had desired from the moment her met her, which made the slipper a device, if you like. And Cora’s ‘lost’ bracelet was the device whereby she hoped to win the luscious Will for herself.
And so to round off by returning to the theme where I started, A WESTERN HEART, set in Wyoming 1880, shows, as does CINDERELLA, that despite your personal advantages, you might need outside help to get what you dearly want out of life.
On behalf of Rose; thank you, Divine Godfather Nate, for seeing that Rose ended up with Prince Right.
And thank you, Shaz, for inviting me to join in with your Christmas blogs. This has been great fun to write, and I hope your readers enjoy reading it. A Happy Christmas to you and to all of your readers.