Review: Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith

PUBLISHED: 11:01 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:01 27 November 2019

Timmika Ramsay and Jodie Jacobs in Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith Design by Frankie Bradshaw Lighting by Joshua Pharo picture Helen Maybanks

Timmika Ramsay and Jodie Jacobs in Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith Design by Frankie Bradshaw Lighting by Joshua Pharo picture Helen Maybanks

Archant

Not enough jokes or jeopardy in Jude Christian’s PC reworking of Panto tropes

Rhys Tayor as Fairy Fredbare in Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith Design by Frankie Bradshaw Lighting by Joshua Pharo picture: Helen MaybankskRhys Tayor as Fairy Fredbare in Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith Design by Frankie Bradshaw Lighting by Joshua Pharo picture: Helen Maybanksk

Can you PC a panto? The Lyric certainly give it a damn good try, ditching traditional tropes that don't fit with metropolitan mores.

But while Tinuke Craig's colourful production has a cheerily enjoyable verve, there just aren't enough jokes or jeopardy in Jude Christian's virtuous reworking.

As a plus size woman of colour who wants to be an astrophysicist, Timmika Ramsay's feisty full-voiced Cinders is an admirable role model rather than a candidate for enforced domestic drudgery.

Surely she'd drop-kick Shobna Gulati's hideously selfish Madame Meanie and take off in a home-made rocket?

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And while Gabriel Fleary is properly charming as her prince, this myopic posh boy suffering from anxiety is going to irritate the hell out of her down the line.

Rather than a parody of performed femininity, the 'ugly sisters' become 'snuggly sisters' resoundingly female and ugly on the inside due to their rampant materialism as social media influencers.

And the usual frisson of same sex love as tight-toting Principal Boy falls for Princess is rendered more straighforwardly literal when Jodie Jacob's perky seamstress Buttons lusts after Lauren Samuel's reformed snuggly sister. (the family behind me didn't catch the big old double wedding festooned with Pride rainbows, since they'd exited at half time.)

Even the usually ballsy dame is made to suffer from confidence issues as Rhys Taylor's Fairy Fredbare remains a little disappointingly earthbound.

While there's much to like in Frankie Bradshaw's twinkly stars and planets design, and a hard-working ensemble crank out some catchy tunes, I couldn't help missing the more playful aspects of Panto's tongue in cheek subversiveness.

3/5

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