Review: Cinderella (Gillian Lynne Theatre, West End)

Posted on 12 October 2021

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version of Cinderella has finally opened at the Gillian Lynne! After a false start or two and a public argument with the Government, we can now all go to the ball.

Cinderella is a story we all know and it's always going to be a struggle to keep it fresh. Not only does it have this hill to climb, but the annual panto season will see hundreds of versions played out across the country each year, so to be different will take something special.

Lloyd Webber states that this is a Cinderella for the modern-day. We see her dressed in Doc Martins, lace sleeves and a general ‘grunge’ look (black lipstick to boot.) While Cinderella may appear modern, the rest of the cast does not. Knights in chainmail, a queen in the style of Marie Antoinette, and a dashing prince who fought a dragon. For me, the modernization (or juxtaposition of the two) didn’t go far enough.

The show has some great performances notably Carrie Hope Fletcher in the titular role who plays the underdog brilliantly and does not disappoint when it comes to the musical numbers. Her role does, however, feel a little underdeveloped. She sings about being a ‘Bad Cinderella’ but only really commits one rebellious act at the top of the show.

The staging and lighting design is stunning and creates a visual spectacle - that some audience members get to appreciate from a different angle! This is where the show really excels and provides some real ‘wow’ moments.

Overall, it was great to experience a new take on the classic story, but I’m not sure it will enjoy the longevity as its inspiration.

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Harrison Fuller

By Harrison Fuller

Theatre manager, writer, maker.