Cinderella ★★★★★ Various cinemas and online | From December 4, 2021


Recently, we had the pleasure of viewing Peter Duncan’s Cinderella, which opens this week in 100 cinemas as well as being made available to schools, Scout and Guide groups across the UK. It has all the elements we have come to love and expect from pantos and even includes echoes of the slapstick associated with Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy. Set in a blend of today and fantasy, the film has stepsisters played full tilt ugly by Peter Duncan and Adam Price, while Lucy-Jane Quinlan is a fine Cinderella who smiles and sings her way into our hearts. The show contains a variety of music, including a rap song ably performed by Henry Roadnight’s Buttons. There's also movement and action that a stage just won’t allow for and great colourful costumes and sets. On one hand, we were pleased to see that “no children dressed as animals were harmed in the making of this production,” but we were also gratified to see that the traditions of pantos, in small theatres and enjoyed by generations, were preserved in what is a wonderful adaptation of the form to film. Nevertheless, this is a Cinderella for today’s world and our heroine has a list of demands for the Prince that pertain to male hierarchy, children being listened to at all times, fake news, and never setting foot in California. William Blake would have been delighted to see his “Auguries of Innocence” put to music and sung by Buttons near the close of the production. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand/And a Heaven in a Wild Flower” is the magic that pantos are all about. At the end of this production, we think you too will go out the door humming the music of “Huddle up and do a roly poly.”

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by A.V.

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