Cinderella: it’s a story everyone knows and loves, one that comes out every year around the festive period and one that never surprises. The Lyceum’s Christmas show, however, has taken the tale and given it a marvellously modern makeover.
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The action has been inexplicably moved from the land of make-believe to the city of Paris, the prince is not royalty but a fabulous reality TV star and the pumpkin carriage isn’t a carriage at all but rather a baby blue moped. This update comes with plenty of twists to the tale, including a witch step-mother, a spirit mother and the presence of roving reporters following the camp Prince Pierre around the set.
All of the actors bring contagious energy to the stage. Spencer Charles Noll plays the mute man servant Boy with precision, conveying volumes with a simple smile. This is paralleled with the larger than life step-mother Monique, played by Jayne McKenna. Her voluptuous persona is fun and delightfully wicked, filling the stage effortlessly. However, the whole cast is blown out of the water by the ugly step-sisters. Camille and Colette – played by Jo Freer and Nicola Roy respectively – are superb. The sisters are played as fake tan slathered neds. Varying from the silly to the revolting, the pair dominate every scene they are in with finger snaps and cackles.
The fantastic cast are unfortunately not matched by the show. Although the story has amusing highlights and contemporary twists, the script sometimes contains awkward moments. At the conclusion, the amount of reveals is skull-crushing and the loose ends are tied up far too quickly. Songs are also dotted throughout the show; although all of these are well performed by the actors, some of these pieces are cringe-worthy and lyrically awkward.
Despite this, Cinderella is a fun and fresh take on the classic fairy tale. With plenty of light-hearted humour and colourful camp, this is an apt family show for the Christmas season. With tongues firmly in cheeks, the Lyceum’s Christmas show will take you to the ball and have you home before midnight with a grin plastered on your face.
Run ends 29th December.