Soho Cinders, Charing Cross Theatre - ★★★★ - Until January 11, 2020


It's all here but the pumpkin coach! This wonderfully updated telling of Cinderella's story takes place around Old Compton Street where Cinderella has become Robbie and Prince Charming is now a closeted politician. The fairy godmother played by Christopher Coleman expects a little more than appreciation and the two wicked stepsisters are now pole dancers threatening to take away Robbie's launderette. Does it sound like a lot of silly fun? Well, it is. It is also a slightly darker commentary on current political spin and image doctoring and on the tabloid culture that creates both political fairy tales and faux scandals. All of the cast are excellent. As the two totally over the top wicked stepsisters, Michaela Stern and Natalie Harman are hilarious in numbers such as "I'm So Over Men" and "Fifteen Minutes." Ewan Gillies as the evil spin doctor is quite perfect and "The Tail That Wags The Dog" sums up what so many of us see on the current political scene. Luke Bayer is just right as the näive and lovestruck Robbie, but oddly, the most emotionally affecting scenes are between well-meaning but closeted politician, James Prince, played by Lewis Asquith and his fiancée played by Tori Hargreaves. Hargreaves is totally credible as the 'university girlfriend become political asset' and her duet, "Remember Us," with Asquith was beautifully done. Still, for us, the hit song of the show had to be "Let Him Go," Hargreaves' duet with Millie O'Connell. It was a wonderfully poignant moment and both women were simply terrific. The music and lyrics of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe catch one from the first listening, and Will Keith uses the stage space extremely effectively. It's kind of magic  you've gotta go to this ball!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until January 11, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Thu & Sat: 3 pm
Charing Cross Theatre
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
https://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/soho-cinders

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