Writer: Mike Kenny
Additional Lyrics: Ivan Stott
Music: Rob Hiley
Director: Ben Occhipinti
Reviewer: Marie Smith
Cinderella is an entertaining and animated production from award-winning children’s writer, Mike Kenny. It tells the story of Cinders, her wicked stepmother and ugly sisters but in a unique way with lots of ridiculously funny moments and a really lively cast.
This version of the fairytale has all the traditional elements for a fantastic festive treat – a young and feisty girl who wants to dance and wear beautiful princess dresses, a wicked stepmother, mean older sisters, and a slightly geeky Prince – but with one big difference… The small energetic ensemble tells the tale from the perspective of the rats – Whiskers, Tail, Teeth, Ears and Claws lead the narrative, singing, dancing, and squabbling their way through this hilarious production and transform into other characters with some quick costume changes.
The costumes, designed by Ellen Nabarro, are effortlessly shabby chic with Cinderella in her typical rag-like-dress for the most part and the rats in their brown costumes, transforming by adding a jacket or a skirt to portray their other characters. The cast all adeptly play the show’s music live (composed by Rob Hiley) and from a multitude of instruments including piano, vibraphone, tubular bells, snare drum, bass drum, hi-hat, electric double bass, shaky eggs and triangles
Lucy Faint’s Cinderella is a down to earth brunette with a strong northern accent, she doesn’t dream of being a princess or getting married but rather is happy in her own little way with the rats as her confidantes. Stand out performances come from Anne O’Riodan and Alicia McKenzie as This Un’ and That Un’ – with completely different but complimenting each other brilliantly – they capture the audience’s attention throughout and has the auditorium in hysterics throughout with their ghastly facial expressions and ugly antics. Alexander Bean plays a great ‘not so charming’ Prince- he is clumsy and awkward, especially when Cinderella tries to teach him to dance – especially thanks to the juxtaposition of their size providing many a mishap.
Ben Occhipinti’s production set in the round is perfect for giving an intimate feeling to the show, the cast utilises all areas and aspects of the auditorium and help break the fourth wall and make the audience, especially the younger members, feel very much part of the action.
There are plenty of twists and turns in this unique and quirky adaptation of the well-known story and provides plenty of originality and magic to make this a light-hearted and fun evening for the whole family.
Runs until 14 January 2017 | Image: Richard Davenport