REVIEW: PRINCESS CHARMING (Ovalhouse) ★★★★★
“We don’t like being told what to do.
Some boys like pink. Some girls like football. Whatever. We’re here to sing, shout, stamp, dance, dress up. And be ourselves.“
‘Princess Charming’ at The Ovalhouse is an absolute gem of a show. Exploring gender stereotypes using the very clever medium of a cabaret aimed at 7-11 year olds, it is entertaining, informative (though never preachy) and vitally, incredibly relevant.
Charlotte Worthing ‘Charlie’ and Alexander Luttley ‘Alex’ are incredibly engaging and beautifully perform a range of cabaret acts including dance, song and acted pieces which highlight the unequal (and oftentimes downright ridiculous) way that young boys and girls are treated and expected to behave.
From utilising the well know children’s characters of Peter and Jane through to ‘Bake Off’ references and modern pop this cabaret is utterly charming from start to finish. Alex and Charlie had their audience of children and adults alike, completely enraptured. A couple of times I found myself moved almost to tears with the poignancy of some of the work, one song in particular (by the incomparable Darren Clark) could have been written about my niece and is just beautiful.
At the end children (and adults!) are encouraged onto the stage to dress up and play with the absolute abundance of toys used throughout the afternoon.
I urge parents and carers alike to take along their little ones and catch this show before it ends on Saturday. I can only hope that a tour is in the offing.
Spun Glass theatre state on their website that they aim for bold, authentic and affecting theatre, they have created it here in spades.
Reviewed by Byron Butler