Cinderella review at Wilde Theatre, Bracknell – ‘traditional but vibrant’
This homegrown production of Cinderella while traditionally presented and lacking in star names is not without charm or excitement.
The Ugly Sisters, in particular, are deliciously terrifying, Buttons (Kristian Cunningham) is loveably bumbling, and Cinderella herself (Rose Crawforth) manages to be wholesome rather than nauseating.
Bart Lee has crafted a strong ensemble piece and Ron McAllister has introduced a collection of rather catchy original songs. Though only a minor Honey G audience participation moment and a reference to Snapchat place the action in 2016, at least there’s not much way of old fashioned blue humour.
The Ugly Sisters, Octavia and Tatiana’s We’re Not Ugly song is unusual and spirited and, when they bring an obligatory good sport from the audience to dress up and dance with the duo, it’s all very amusing and bright.
Writer Lee also injects a healthy bit of politics into the mix – it turns out that kind, caring Cinderella is anti-fox hunting, as is her suitor, the handsome Prince Charming (Steve Banks). Other than these rare moments, this Cinderella story never strays far from its traditional path – even the scenery (designed by Victoria Spearing) is attractive yet conventional.
This is a solid pantomime buoyed by its vibrancy, which never wavers, and led by the humour and skill of Brad Clapson and Daniel Cane as Tatiana and Octavia. They are so energising that they frequently steal the somewhat saccharine Cinders’ thunder – which they would be absolutely delighted to hear.
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