Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical.
I confess, when I first heard of this project I seriously wondered if we needed "yet another Cinderella" - having seen it I am convinced that this is not just another Cinderella, it is a fabulous addition to the West End.This is not the original story, certainly not the Disney version and definitely not a panto - it is a new musical that takes the key elements we all know and love, throws them in the air and comes up with something new and immensely enjoyable.
Carrie Hope Fletcher rules the stage as our Goth Cinderella opposite Prince Sebastian played by Ivano Turco - someone to definitely watch forth e future! Comedy, and there is plenty of it, is provided by the ugly sisters Marie (Georgina Castle) and Adele (Laura Baldwin) and by their step-mother (Victoria Hamilton-Barritt) and the Queen (Rebecca Treheard) whose bitchy relationship is a real delight. Caleb Roberts provides the latecomer Prince Charmimg and the Godmother (think Edna "E" Mode from the Incredibles) was played by Gloria Onitiri. An enthusiastic chorus and some curious but effective choreography completes the picture. From my seat I couldn't see the band - they sounded great but I have no idea how many there were!
There are a couple of really good songs in the show and no duds - some will certainlhy stand the test of time and have lives outside this show, particularly in my opinion "I Know You". A simple but versatile set is enhanced by great lighting design and a surprise for anyone who has not seen the full versatility of the Gillian Lynne stage before. Oh, and did I detect the smell of pine at the start of the second act with the forest projected on the stage? Subtle but effective if so!
I really enjoyed this refreshing take on the story and I even ended with a tear in my eye. Great fun.