Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cinderella and the Beanstalk – Review

Theatre 503, London


Written by Sleeping Trees (aka James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua George Smith, and John Woodburn)
Music by Mark Newnham
Directed by Tom Attenborough

The Sleeping Trees company

Those in the mood for some electric, creative and surprisingly original Christmas pantomime should run, not walk, to Sleeping Trees’ Cinderella and the Beanstalk at Theatre 503.

The premise is simple and sets the evening up for lots of laughs. We join the Sleeping Trees trio (who also wrote the show) as they are ready to open the pantomime that they have prepared, only to discover to their horror that they have forgotten to hire actors, remembering only to have booked a musician. (The talented and also genuinely amusing Mark Newnham.) In order to not disappoint the audience, the three decide to play all the parts of their panto themselves, bringing to life a veritable smorgasbord of fairy tale characters and Disney stories whilst telling the ‘familiar’ tale of Cinderella and The Beanstalk.

The result is comic genius, with the talented trio creating a show that is hilarious for the entire audience, irrespective of age. It’s fast-paced and physical, with the actors bringing a tremendous amount of infectious energy to their craft. The secret of good comedy is timing and these guys are spot on!

Of course there's song and dance, including a love song about a Wickes brochure (no really), which is terribly funny and also, rather well written. Throughout, the choreography, like the comedy, is well rehearsed and drilled.

Amongst a sea of festive pantos, Cinderella and the Beanstalk makes for a refreshing, clever and truly enjoyable star of a production.

Runs until 10 January 2015

Guest reviewer Emily Pulham

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