Cinderella – Review – Stepehen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
By Charlotte Oliver, December 2022
It is the turn of classic Brothers Grimm tale Cinderella to take centre stage as the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s festive family show. But this is not the Cinderella you are expecting – this is Cinderella if all the usual elements of the story had been crammed into a sparkly snow-globe and shaken up wildly. And what a Christmas joy it is!
Writer Nick Lane has worked his trademark magic in adapting the story by adding humour, glitter and a hefty sprinkling of mayhem. Similarly composer Simon Slater has provided excellent musical accompaniment with some standout songs that deserve to be heard well beyond the festive season. They both take us on an exciting adventure that goes to The Land Beyond Beyond via many recognisable locations.
The cast (Eve De Leon Allen, David Fallon, Lucy Keirl, Roger Parkins and Sarah Pearman) are an immensely talented and versatile bunch who inhabit the multiple characters of the story with relish and never once lose even their youngest audience members. Their energy is unfaltering throughout.
These include the town’s beloved department store and local institution, Boyes store (which even gets its own song) and the audience is invited along from the very beginning. We are addressed directly from the stage, included in all the ‘in’ jokes about nearby places (‘the prison of Brid’) and offered many opportunities to participate, both in traditional pantomime ways (boo-ing, cheering, behind you-ing etc) but also in more unconventional ways; I, for one, had never been a guest at the royal ball before, and I enjoyed it very much!
The direction by Gemma Fairlie is accomplished, making the most of the intimate space of the round and keeping the action easy to follow. Helen Coyston’s design is clever and fun with many highlights such as the kitchen table doubling as a ship, the fairies’ costumes and absolutely everything about the pumpkin. Tigger Johnson’s lighting helps the story along without taking over. This whole show is clearly a real team effort and mention must also go to Assistant Choreographer Stephanie Dattani and Assistant Music Director Alex Weatherill for their contributions in making this such a cracker of a Christmas show.
Cinderella runs until 31st December so there is still time to get your tickets to go on this fun and joyful festive adventure, and I urge you to do just that!
images © Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media