‘True to Brothers Grimm, this romantic tale is laced
with dark undertones, a delight for all the family’
The Jack Studio Theatre often sells out its entire run at Christmas and it is easy to see why. This engaging adaptation of the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, has gruesome moments to pepper the romance. No slushy sentiments here. It really is a story for today, with a feisty and clever Ella, adding piquancy. It also has a sub plot featuring some gender confusion whilst this is expected in pantomime, it has a twist in this play. Instead of the traditional two ugly sisters, the teens are brother and sister. The boy is horrified when his mother tells him that he must dress up as a girl to get his chance of wooing the prince.
The traditional elements are also present with a cruel stepmother, using the children to fulfil her own ambitions. It also contains the magical elements we might expect, with the birds helping to bring about that Fairytale ending and objects flying around the room dexterously caught by the cast.
Molly Byrne as Ella is adorable and delivers a wonderful surprise at the end of the show. She has a terrific singing voice, one of the highlights of the show. The characterisations are also very appealing, from the painfully shy prince (Charlie Bateman) to the bullying stepmother (Bryan Pilkington) with brother and sister (Joel Black and Aimee Louise Bevan) being played for real, plenty of teenage angst here.
Director, Kate Bannister, always works with an outstanding team of creatives, including Karl Swinyard on set design. A couple of familiar names also cropped up, the can-do Phil Matejtchuk on sound design, and Off West End nominated composer Elliot Clay. With puppetry, dance and fighting, the list of credits is huge.
Everything has come together to create the perfect Christmas show for all the family.
Photography by Tim Stubbs Hughes
Cinderella: A Fairytale
Venue: Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH
Box office: www.brockleyjack.co.uk or 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only)
Dates: Wednesday 12 December 2018 to Saturday 5 January 2019 at 7.30pm.
No performances: 16th, 17th, 24th-27th, 31st Dec & 1st Jan
Tickets: £16, £13 conc. Suitable 8+
Reviewer Heather Jeffery is founder and Editor of London Pub Theatres Magazine www.londonpubtheatres.com @pubtheatres1 (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Formerly playwright and Artistic Director of Changing Spaces Theatre. Her plays have been performed at Drayton Arms Theatre (Kensington), Old Red Lion Theatre (Islington), VAULT festival (Waterloo), St Paul’s Church (Covent Garden), Cockpit Theatre (Marylebone) and Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham)