Posted on: 10 December 2015 by Laurence Green

Laurence Green reviews Tom Well's modernised production of Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith.

Cinderella at The Lyric Hammersmith

It may seem uncharitable in this season of goodwill to reign down strong criticism on Tom Well's irreverent new pantomime Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith) but it really is a most-disappointing production.

This familiar tale of slippers and slip-ups receives a crude, funky modern makeover, totally lacking in wit and charm. Admittedly the show includes all the regulars of this fairytale favourite - a Prince Charming, Buttons, the Ugly Sisters, Booty and Licious played here by a desperately unfunny 'comic' duo. Matt Sutton and Peter Caulfield - but is particularly weak and plays perilously close to panto decency relieved only by some lively musical interludes.

In this version the Prince's climactic hunt for his bride becomes a madeup Scooby Doo chase, the ball is an all-out karaoke fest, the glass slipper doesn't disappear at midnight, and the couple's meeting takes place on a silty Thames side riverbank.

Fortunately, though, there are compensations. Newcomer Krystal Dockery, who has risen through the ranks of the Lyric Young Company makes a spirited and engaging Cinders with a fine singing voice, Samuel Buttery as Buttons, Karl Queensborough a convincing Prince Charming, and there is a good work from Sara Crowe as the evil Madame Woo, while Debra Michaels's crochet-winged Fairy Godmother, who turns a pumpkin and mice into a carriage, is true to type.

The only awe inspiring moment, though, comes courtesy of illusionist Richard Pinner, when Cinders' tatty clothes are transformed into an elegant ball gown merely by a wave of the magic wand.


The Lyric Hammersmith
Runs until 3 January 2016
Box office: 020 8741 6850

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