Monday, 3 December 2012

Cinderella - review

Written by: Peeny (@AdamPeeny)

Where's Peen been?
Lyric Hammersmith, London
Was Peen keen?

Providing a pitch-perfect, joyous stomp up to Christmas, this is quite simply 2012’s must-see festive show. This more than vibrant production is crammed full of gags and awe-inspiring performances, and demands you partake to a point where everybody becomes more than willing. A slight confession: my life has been inundated with appalling (read ‘eye-gouging’) amateur panto, so to say we weren’t on good terms is the understatement of the decade. This being my first professional panto experience (cue gasp), I’m officially a convert already gagging for my next one.

Photo: Tristram Kenton
Cinderella (played adorably by Julie Atherton) spends her life cleaning Tumbledown Castle and wants just one day off this year. She’s been given a ticket to the Prince’s ‘Pick a Princess’ ball but the horrid Ms Hardup (the great Mel Giedroyc) will do anything unlikeable to make sure she doesn’t get there. It goes without saying that it all ends well and everyone lives happily ever after. This version of the much loved Cinderella, written by Joel Horwood and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, is successful in abundance. Feeling very much like ‘the pantomime of today’, we see brand new renditions of songs such as Domino by Jessie J (which introduces us to the show and in my mind deserves immediate reward), Pokerface by Lady GaGa and All By Myself by Mariah Carey. The lyrics that are worked in to these songs to suit the story, and indeed the music and sound entirely (Tom Mills), are glorious. It provides a fantastic way to tell the story to the children – the target audience – but is a guaranteed way to make it a hit with the grown-ups too. The entire show is set on a beautiful design (Tom Scutt) which is magical when it should be magical and dark when it needs to be dark.

Most deserving of credit is the terrific Steven Webb in this productions role of Buttons. Leading the majority of the story in such a hilarious and loveable fashion, he’s a delight to watch and a sensational addition to this already faultless cast. The charisma between Webb and Atherton is both essential and very present. A whole load of bubbling talent has been handled flawlessly by the Lyric’s own Artistic Director, Sean Holmes.  

Photo: Tristram Kenton
On the lead up to Christmas, there are appropriate festivities and fake snow aplenty to provide you an excellent nights worth of entertainment. When the cast are having as good a time as the audience it’s very warming indeed and such is the case for this show. It’s a cheeky opportunity for the parents to pretend they’re taking the children out for the evening, and the Lyric Hammersmith to glide into 2013 with pride. 

This production runs until 5 January 2013. 

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