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Review: SINDERELLA – a very adult pantomime at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden

SINDERELLA
Etcetera Theatre, Camden

This very adult pantomime opens with a somewhat frustrated Buttons (Tyrone Samuels) telling us how much he fancies Sinderella. The double entendres start immediately, and there are plenty of laughs throughout, although several of the jokes have been borrowed from other sources – I spotted a couple from Absolutely Fabulous, and I recognised one or two others.

Sinderella is played extremely well with delightful innocence by Beth Willis, who keeps up her excellent performance throughout, the innocence playing off very well against the fruitiness of the whole show. She is berated and belittled by the Ugly Sisters, Cher and Cheryl (complete with beards), who are played with camp hilarity by James Paul Taylor and Mark Hooper. At times, the sisters clamber through the audience, and are responsible for much of the interaction and cringeworthingly embarrassing moments the audience members are put through, as in any pantomime.

The very simple set – fully blacked with only two stools – could be improved. Although it allows us to focus entirely on the characters, a tiny bit of set decoration would be a welcome touch.

I feel the Prince's character could also be improved. He is played very well by Michael Mitcham, but I didn’t feel any connection to the character, and I think the show could benefit from increasing the sympathy the audience feels for him, particularly with the relationship between him and his overbearing mother. She is played superbly by Sandy Jarvis, but I did feel they missed a trick, as she could have been a great dame.

However, my favourite character in the piece was, without a doubt, Fairy (Christina Wood). Bitter and sharp-tongued, she is crude and often drunk, staggering around the stage with a bottle of vodka in hand.

Overall, there were some definite areas that could be improved, but it is funny and filthy, and a fun night out. Get some friends together, grab a couple of bottles of wine, and treat yourself to an evening of crude jokes, flirty dames and an overbearing desire to see Buttons finally lose his virginity.

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