REVIEW: Cinderella: The Socially Distanced Ball, Turbine Theatre (Online)

This rebellious and feisty pantomime is now available to watch online due to having had its live performances cut short.

(c)Mark Senior

If you are in need of a laugh and in desperate need of a sharp and sassy pantomime to get you through these tough times – then I certainly recommend this one provided by the Turbine Theatre and now available to watch online.

Written by Jodie Prenger and Neil Hurst, this very adult pantomime takes the fairytale of Cinderella and really turns it on its head to offer a delightfully naughty hour of entertainment.

Filled with jokes aimed at the government, coronavirus and all the restrictions place on us this year, it certainly feels like a very rebellious pantomime. In particular, when Rufus Hound as Buttons encourages the audience to shout ‘F**k the Tories’ every time he appears on stage or during the lovely duet between Prince Charming (Debbie Kurup) and Cinderella (Daisy Wood-Davis) him measuring the two metre distance – it really relieves much of the tension that we have all felt.

Directed with great spirit and pace by Lizzy Connolly, the jokes come thick and fast, yet there is certainly a lot of sentimentality about the script that also gives the pantomime its heart. With plenty of references to theatre including a lovely take on the ‘The Schuyler Sisters’ from the musical Hamilton and ‘Six’ from the musical with a line changed nicely to highlight the predicament of the industry ‘the arts are one of a kind’. It’s moments like this dotted throughout the production that keep the balance between entertainment and capturing exactly why the arts are so important.

It is a consistently bright and bubbly production, helped by of course by dynamic performances from the cast. Scott Paige’s Fanny and Oscar Conlon-Morrey’s Vajayjay are wonderfully crude and sharp – their chemistry together working really well as the two ugly step sisters trying to wreck Cinderella’s path to a happy ever after – with an unexpected twist. Rufus Hound is endearing and charming as Buttons, Debbie Kurup offers a lovely exaggerated performance as Prince Charming and Daisy Wood-Davis is bright and energetic Cinderella. I think that Sean Parkins as the fairy could have been used a lot more as the opening sequence to the show is a real treat.

If you are looking for a rebellious, enjoyably naughty pantomime then this is certainly one for you!

By Emma Clarendon

Cinderella: The Socially Distanced Ball is available to watch online now until the 1st January 2021.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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