Tinderella: Cinders Slips it in
Written by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper
Directed by Andrew Beckett
4* – On at Above The Stag Theatre until 16th Jan 2016
We are now in a world where adult pantos are everywhere and it has become common place to go on a search for Dick and his little pussy, but London’s only dedicated LGBTQ theatre continues to lead the way. The Above the Stag, despite no longer being above The Stag Pub in Victoria, has over the past three years continued to grow in its new home in Vauxhall and the annual gay adult panto is a core part of its success. Following last years Treasure Island: The Curse of the Pearl Necklace, resident writers Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper are tackling Cinderella with plenty of opportunity to discuss forcing appendages into tight holes.
The story follows Cinders in his search for love in Slutvia, a horribly suppressive, some might say ‘Russian-esque’ land where a narrow-minded king rules with a homophobic fist. Led by Buttons and the King’s only son, in the gay underworld, who finds love and lust through the use of an illegal mobile phone app, until Charming is forced to throw a ball to find himself a wife. With the help of his Fairy Godmother, Cinders who has until this point been forced to work under the roof of his wicked step-mother and step sisters manages to disguise himself as a woman and go to the ball. I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
Taking the titular role is recent Mountview graduate, Grant Cartwright in his first professional outing and he thrives in the role. Not only does he have the charm and natural ability to win over an audience, but a fantastic singing voice and doesn’t look too bad when stripped down to his underwear, the only shame is we don’t get more of it…of the singing I mean! Joseph Lycett-Barnes and Lucas Meredith offered great support as Prince Charming and Buttons respectively but it was down to the villains of the piece to steal the show. Ellen Butler returns to The Above The Stag this year as Countess Volga, the horrid stepmother and clearly has fun hamming it up. However Chris Barley and Louie Westwood as the Ugly Sisters were a true tour de force of comic wonder. Their musical numbers, all penned by Bradfield, were as funny as they were filthy, and they were FILTHY, and any scene they were in was an utter joy.