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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Stephen Fry writes 'cheeky' panto
Stephen Fry
Fry: "'Look behind you' can't be beat for getting a child involved"
Stephen Fry has written a new version of Cinderella for this year's Christmas pantomime at London's Old Vic theatre.

Actress Pauline Collins will make a return to the West End stage for the first time in 15 years to play the Fairy Godmother in the show.

She will be joined by comedian Sandi Toksvig who will act as the narrator.

Fry's version of Cinderella has been "cheekily updated" for the 21st Century but has "all the classic fairytale ingredients", a spokesperson said.

This is the third consecutive year of Christmas pantomimes at the theatre, run by Hollywood star Kevin Spacey.

'Genuine interactivity'

Writer, actor and director Fry, who currently hosts the BBC Two quiz show QI, said that pantomime was still the ultimate interactive experience.

"It may sound wearingly like an attempt to be cool, hip and relevant to say that pantomime is interactive, but as something of a computer and a gadget geek, I've yet to find any gizmo from the digital age that can match pantomime for genuine interactivity," he said.

"'Look behind you' and 'Oh no, it isn't' still can't be beat for getting a child involved."

Spacey described the pantomime as "the perfect celebration of The Old Vic's vaudeville history and a great deal of fun".

"The combination of such British favourites as Pauline Collins and Sandi Toksvig with a remarkable range of young and talented cast from stage, television and film will create something truly special," he added.

Cinderella follows The Old Vic's hit production of Aladdin, which starred Sir Ian McKellen as Widow Twankey.

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