Above the Stag theatre has done it again and produced another hilarious panto in ‘Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In.’ ★★★★
The theatre has produced many a camp panto in years past. These include ‘Dick Whittington: Another Dick in City Hall’ in 2009, ‘Sleeping Beauty: One Little Prick’ in 2011, and last year’s ‘Treasure Island: The Curse of the Pearl Necklace.’ But with ‘Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In‘ the Stag has outcamped, and outdone, all its previous pantos. It’s as camp as christmas and as gay as eggnog. And it’s hilarious.
The title says it all. The show is a take off on Cinderella, and in the Stag’s version Prince Charming is searching the kingdom for a man (and NOT a woman) who fits into the glass slipper, in the kingdom of Slutvia. And that man is Cinders. He cooks and cleans and does the chores for his wicked evil stepmother Countess Volga and her two vile daughters Nicole Ferrari and Maude Escort. But then one day, while on a gay app on his mobile phone, he meets Prince Charming, and it is love at first sight for both of them. But Cinders’ phone gets ruined (I won’t say how!), and he’s unable to contact, or be contacted by, the very handsome young Prince.
But there is a Fairy Godmother, in the form of The Fairy, and she’s the one who, with the help of the adorable Buttons, makes sure that Cinders gets to the ball to be reunited with Prince Charming, though the Prince’s father, King Ludwig, has no clue that his son is jonesing for another man. It’s all a laugh a minute when the show takes us from the Countesses’ kitchen to the King’s office to a courgette that gets turned into, funny enough, a mode of transport to which Cinders to the palace! We also are treated to songs about balls, a clever slow-motion scene that involves the entire cast, and enough campiness and cute boys to make even Alan Carr blush. And to top it off, we are spoiled with Slutvia’s Eurovision song!
What can one say about a show that has ok acting, ok singing, and an ok script? Well – it’s brilliant! You’ll be laughing from the opening scenes which include a giant rat, to the audience participation bits (there are quite a few and boy are they clever!), up to the final heartwarming and groin inflaming scenes. It’s a show that’s over two hours but it flies by. And the cast are perfect, from Joseph Lycett-Barnes as Prince Charming to Lucas Meredith as Buttons and Grant Cartwright as Cinders – everyone does their part, and they all act very well with each other! From the writers and director of total sell-out hits ‘Get Aladdin,’ ‘Jack Off the Beanstalk,’ and ‘Treasure Island – The Curse of the Pearl Necklace’ (Martin Hooper and Jon Bradfield) and directed by Andrew Beckett, Above the Stag has put on another memorable show.
Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In is playing until January 16th, 2016. Most performances are sold out but there are a few tickets left on various dates. To book, please go here: http://www.abovethestag.com/shows/
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.