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“Brassy, boozy karaoke panto”

At this time of year, there’s a tendency to be overly kind towards lacklustre festive entertainment because “it’s Christmas”.

With this in mind, it has to be said that Cinderella at the Vaults is a a bit of a let-down, if only because it’s underpinned by a really interesting idea: take one of the most familiar stories around and transpose it to a modern-day Wigan boozer complete with an interactive karaoke element.

Done well, this could have replicated the unpredictable camaraderie that comes from the best nights on the mic, but Luke Barnes’ script doesn’t allow for the audience participation to take off and the show, which toured various pubs and clubs last year, is probably better suited to a more intimate venue.

As a result, Not Too Tame’s production ends up feeling like a bog-standard pantomime by way of Phoenix Nights. Cinderella tends to the bar, Prince Charming is a cross-body-bag-wearing fuckboy and Buttons is now a suicidal dog. There are some belly laughs, some decidedly iffy and very un-2019 punchlines if you’re into that sort of thing, and a host of performances so unsubtle they can be heard all the way from Elephant and Castle. Oh, and you can also get served at the on-set bar if you so wish.

It would make a good show for a work Christmas do, but for anybody else there’s a chance that your fun will be undercut by that Boxing Day afternoon feeling of guilt that you could probably be spending your time better elsewhere.

Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out review at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club – ‘raucous and riotous’

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Production Details
Production nameCinderella
Venuethe Vaults
StartsNovember 22, 2019
EndsJanuary 12, 2020
Running time1hr 30mins
AuthorLuke Barnes, Not Too Tame
DirectorJimmy Fairhurst
Musical directorDaniel Ellis
Set designerJen Mcginley
Lighting designerJack Weir
Sound designerDaniel Ellis
CastJack Condon, Jimmy Fairhurst, Lizzie Hopley, Louise Haggerty, Megan Pemberton, Patrick Knowles, Rosa Coduri
Stage managerIndia Marsland
ProducerJames Seabright
VerdictBrassy, boozy re-imagining of a classic tale is cheerful enough but unlikely to convert panto-sceptics
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