dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Cinderella review at Wilde Theatre, Bracknell – ‘traditional but vibrant’

Kristian Cunningham and the junior cast in Cinderella at Wilde Theatre, Bracknell. Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown

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.

panto-2

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
A traditional yet vibrant production elevated by the energy of its lively, talented cast.
^