Reviewed by Nigel Chester
Who doesn’t like a play with a dog in it? Our dog was Buttons (Alex Griffin Griffiths), a flea-bitten mangy mutt with so little to live for, he was constantly looking for a way out. Buttons however, wasn’t going quietly, we heard his last words on several occasions, his new last words and even his new, new last words.
Buttons, a key figure in the pantomime Cinderella, I feel sure has never been played like this before.
Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out, by Luke Barnes, is brought to us by “Not Too Tame” it is theatre, pantomime and fully immersive and a bit too blurring to quite know who were cast and who were locals; thankfully, a cast list tells us that Cinderella is played by Gemma Barnett, feisty and believable with an outstanding voice. There are ugly sisters, Simone (Louise Haggerty) and Garfunkel (Naomi McDonald). Their mother, so skilfully played by Jess Johnson was superbly cast, she was the entire package, again a fantastic voice and she remained so in character throughout that I’m sure she must run a pub in her spare time.
Playing around the country and fitting each performance to the individual venue, this is theatre, the like of which I haven’t seen before and I wonder if this was a bit how Shakespeare was; a bit of a bear pit, beer and banter, all-round fun.
At one point, Cinderella informs Prince Charming (Jack Condon) that he’s coming on “a bit Harvey” and leads us into a non-traditional ending.
There is a karaoke book provided and DJ Mike (Jack Brown), provided plenty of opportunity to use it, but don’t worry, the cast understood their audience and no one was pushed out of their comfort zone. These were professionals, working with amateurs and we amateurs laughed so hard that beer was spilled.
A great night of mixed-up, madcap, mayhem.
Tickets cost from £5.
Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out will be at the Sinfin Moor Social Club in Derby from 1-2 December 2018, for more information or book tickets visit www.derbytheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01332 593939.
Sinfin Moor Social Club, Arleston Lane, Sinfin, Derby, DE24 3DH