Review: Cinderella (Gillian Lynne Theatre)
Posted on 8 October 2021
Fairytales do come true!
Tale as old as time. No, not that one. Cinderella, the dutiful stepdaughter who spends her life as a scullery maid awaiting the arrival of her Prince Charming. Oh, how times have changed. Welcome to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 2021 re-telling of Cinderella.
The scene is set; you rock up to the most beautiful town in the world, the girls are glorious, the boys are perfecting their pecs and we have taken our seats (in the revolve no less) to witness the unveiling of the statue of Prince Charming. Except that it has been vandalised by ‘Bad Cinderella’ (Carrie Hope Fletcher reminding us once again how amazing her vocal range is) and we are fully thrust into this modern-day re-telling of the famous story.
Cinderella is a goth, a rebel with a cause, fighting off the taunts from her step-sisters and her step-mother (the ever dynamic Victoria Hamilton-Barritt); the ridicule from the Queen (Rebecca Trehearn) and the general disdain of the townsfolk. She is above love, laughs off marriage (“it’s for the mentally insane”) but nonetheless has a hankering for Prince Sebastian (Prince Charming’s younger brother). Little does she know he has the same hankering.
This is very clearly an Andrew Lloyd Webber extravaganza! It has a wonderful score and all the makings of a good time exemplified in the ballroom scene. Love songs are Lloyd Webber’s passion and again this is displayed in the exchange of love songs between Sebastian and Cinderella.
Of particular note is the Fairy Godmother, however, in this version of the story, she is not a magician but rather more becoming, in the guise of a beautician telling us that beauty is, indeed, pain – and not just because the crystal shoes are cutting into Cinders’ feet. This added a different dimension to the tale.
The revolve seating allows audience members to become almost interactive with the cast, giving the audience a glimpse of the set from a unique point of view, which only adds further to the magic of this truly spectacular show. Just a word of warning though – make sure you get your tickets before midnight as you may miss out on the hottest seat in town!