There are two magnificent balls during Kneehigh’s inventive reworking of Cinderella, a narrative device designed to give the mixed-age audience as much time to dance around the room as possible. This is a production dripping in glitter and disco. Cinderella is a petite, bespectacled thing, played with endearing grace by the balletic, circus-trained Audrey Brisson, who has a kind-hearted and decent but decidedly hen-pecked dad in Stu Godwin. Her step-sisters are towering, hotpant-clad bullies and her stepmother is one part panto dame, two parts gangster’s moll.
A scene from Midnightâ€™s Pumpkin at BAC, London Photo: Tristram Kenton
Staged in-the-round in BAC’s grand hall, this production is full of a very modern kind of magic. Kneehigh’s particular aesthetic is well deployed. Cinderella - renamed Midnight here - has a garden shed for a carriage and five comedy terry-cloth mice as her steeds. There’s possibly one too many over-long songs and a couple of the smuttier lines seem better suited to a different kind of festive show, but the main aim is to get the audience engaged and enjoying themselves. The whole thing has the feel of one long party. There’s a mass dance sequence in the middle that gets half the audience on their feet, there’s a dressing up box into which everyone is invited to dip, full of feather boas, tiaras and wigs, there’s some gleefully nasty business with toes, and strong work from the whole ensemble, including a brilliantly silly performance from Phil Brodie as the vain, jodhpur-wearing Prince of Battersea and the Surrounding Areas.