West End stars Luke Bayer pictured below and Millie O’Connell star in the latest production at Charing Cross Theatre Soho Cinders. Where you meet orphan Robbie and Velcro aka as Sonya long-standing best friends working in his late Mother’s laundrette. Their friendship from the start is strong and with an incredible connection between the two, it’s believable, that they are extremely close friends.
Set in Old Compton Street, London the daily lives of prostitutes, city workers and homeless people share the demographics of this busy London street, all that was missing was the traffic.
The rags to riches storyline mix friendship, politics, spin doctor media stunts and family disputes brilliantly. James (Lewis Asquith) is running to be the next London Mayor and is engaged to Marilyn (Tori Hargreaves). While at the same time secretly having a relationship with Robbie.
The ugly sisters Clodagh (Michaela Stern) and Dana (Natalie Harman) are true to the pantomime genre and their characters are portraying common tarts with potty mouths to match. They are as much to be pitied as they are to be disliked. Their homophobic behaviour and treatment of Robbie leave you recoiling with some of their cutting derogatory comments towards him. Telling him in one scene to move out of the flat as “they don’t want to catch gay” not sure being happy is a bad thing to catch.
The stage is designed as two sides of street one in pink and the other blue mixed together on occasions with the colours and flags of pride which adds the bawdy colours element that you expect to see in any pantomime. As the story pulls you in at times it’s easy to forget that this is based on Cinderella and then a sharp funny one-liner reminds you that is exactly what you are watching.
Choreographer Adam Haigh’s talent was put to the test in this production with twenty singing numbers and individual dances to match it feels original and fresh.
One of my favourite numbers was “It’s hard to tell” the struggle as a straight female can be very much in keeping with this song as it’s not always obvious which men are gay and which are straight. The way in which sexuality is addressed flows naturally throughout. Marilyn addresses James’s infidelity in a mature approach it’s about the fact he cheated and lied to her and nothing to do with cheating on her with a man.
Will Keith’s production of this fantastic musical kept me captivated throughout. There is nothing to dislike or fault whatsoever and he has chosen an incredible cast who have amazing chemistry on stage from the onset and it continues that way to the end.
This musical delivers on every level and is exactly what you expect from a great night out. The musical numbers are still remaining in your head the next day. It certainly gets my recommendation as a must-see musical. Catch it while it is still on under The Arches in Charing Cross for the remainder it’s run.
James Prince-Lewis Asquith
Marilyn Platt-Tori Hargreaves
William George-Ewan Gillies
Lord Bellingham-Christopher Coleman
Written by Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis.
Director -Will Keith
Set Designer-Justin Williams
Photos are taken by me at the end of the show to highlight the energy and fun all the cast put into this musical.
The musical runs from 24th October – 21st December 2019
For general enquiries and tickets information please use the link below.