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Cinderella and the Beanstalk

“Screwball energy”

Cinderella and Prince Charming have bonded over a shared passion for DIY and bathroom sealant, Rumpelstiltskin is on the rampage and the Fairy Godmother is pining for her lost love Jack, who’s up the beanstalk with a pregnant cow.

Originally devised and performed by the all-male Sleeping Trees, Cinderella and the Beanstalk has been revived with a female cast of four. This quartet conjure up a madcap and scrappy panto universe on a shoestring, refreshingly free of fading celebs, crusty jokes and spangly frocks. It’s heartening (especially for a junior audience) to see a group of young women causing comic mayhem on stage with scant regard for the role of ingenue or siren. All are agile performers, each playing a bevy of characters, often in same scene.

Anna Spearpoint displays brilliantly malleable facial expressions and talent for accents as a Geordie Fairy Godmother in a fuzzy gilet, a Somerset cow (denoted by a bum-bag with udders), a Brummie gnome and Macedonian Rumpelstiltskin, while Amanda Shodeko gives full-on grotesquery as both ugly sisters (one is particularly slobbery) and the gormless prince.

Louise Beresford deftly fields heckles from the more precocious audience members as Cinders, while also appearing as a swaggering genie with a pint and tinsel-bearded Merlin, who sings a genuinely catchy funk song about magic beans.

Meanwhile, musician Severine Howell-Meri provides strong support with guitar, keyboard, slide whistle and a Santa costume. The cast keep up the frantic energy throughout, only slowing the pace for a cheerful song about friendship.


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Production Details
Production nameCinderella and the Beanstalk
StartsDecember 5, 2018
EndsJanuary 5, 2019
Running time2hrs
AuthorThe Sleeping Trees
ComposerMark Newnham
DirectorCarla Kingham
Musical directorHannah Benson
Set designerDaisy Blower
Lighting designerAli Hunter
CastAmanda Shodeko, Anna Spearpoint, Louise Beresford, Severine Howell-Meri
Production managerCallum Finn
Stage managerBenedict Hudson
ProducerSleeping Trees, Theatre503
VerdictAll-female cast of four deploy deft screwball energy to play a pantheon of panto characters
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Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

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