It’s panto time again and I’m being very selective about how many I go to see this year (as it can get to the point of suicidal thoughts if you see too many in one year). One show I could never go a year without seeing though is the annual Above The Stag pantomime which always guarantees to be a debaucherous celebration of the gay festive season.
Tinderella: Cinders Slips It In is a laugh-a-minute romp through the story of Cinderella, except Prince Charming isn’t looking for a wife, he wants a husband. After a chance encounter with Cinders, the two do everything possible to make sure they can be together. But everyone wants a chance with the Prince and Cinders will have to get past the Countess and the Ugly Sisters before the two can be together. Oh, and one other problem, gay marriage isn’t legal in Slutvia. Can the Prince convince the King to change the laws, or will the Prince be forced to marry a woman?
Casting for this show was brilliant. Christopher James Barley and Louie Westwood laugh and cackle their way around the stage as the ugly sisters (Nicole Ferrari and Maude Escort). They play off of each other extremely well and provide all the needed comedy in the show. Joseph Lycett-Barnes, Lucas Meredith and Grant Cartwright are all adorable as the Prince, Buttons and Cinders and Rebecca Travers flits in and out as the not so talented drunk fairy. But it is Ellen Butler who steals the show as Countrees Volga. Her dead-pan humour and dry tone are brilliant and she has a Patsy-esq quality from Ab Fab.
The set for this panto is nicely done and utilises the small stage well with smooth scene transitions. The ending came a little abruptly and wasn’t the christmassy ending I was expecting but it was a lot of fun. The story could use a little fine tuning in places but if its camp christmassy fun you’re after then this certainly won’t disappoint.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Tinderella: Cinders Slips It In is playing at Above The Stag Theatre until 16 January 2016. Click here for tickets