BWW Review: CINDERELLA, Trafalgar Studios
This is by far the most outrageous pantomime I have ever seen. It's also the most unpolished pantomime I have ever seen. But that doesn't seem to matter; because in its messiness comes a lot of charm. The improvised madness is a huge strength, and throughout the entire performance, the audience are having a right laugh - so job well done, really.
Cinderella is a tale most of us probably know very well. It's the story of a young woman who is imprisoned by her wicked stepmother, bound to serve, clean and have no fun. Along with the ugly stepsisters, the trio terrorise and torment the girl, until one day she meets a fairy godmother, who grants her the ability to go to a glamorous ball. From then on, true love is allowed to flourish and the majority live happily ever after.
This version follows pretty much the same narrative, however the action is much more adult-rated, which goes down very well with the lively crowd. As is common in this form, audience interaction is used to delight and entertain. It goes down very well. It's evident that from the first minute, everybody wants to have lots of fun.
The show brings together some of the UK's best drag artists, from all walks of life. There's a right mixture of camp, class and charisma. Each performer brings their own unique spin to the action. There are splits, voguing, jokes galore, lip-syncs and really clever abridged versions of well-known songs. It's a hoot from start to finish.
The whole event seems to have been billed around the west end debut of Baga Chipz; a queen that recently hit superstar acclaim when they came third on the first series of Rupaul's Drag Race UK this year. Known for her over-the-top personality, loveable wit and catchphrases such as "Much Better!" she is very much a household name that is adored by many. It's no surprise that when she enters as the evil stepmother the auditorium explodes with excitement.
She and her co-stars do a superb job in entertaining the crowd. They may stumble about on a lot of their lines and miss the majority of their cues, but oddly this only makes you adore them more. High-end production values aren't needed; we are very happy enjoying the multitude of talent on show.