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Theatre Review: Cinderella--Cumbernauld Theatre ***

Joy Watters reviews a new spin on a classic tale.

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the wedding, up pops the wicked stepmother to put a spanner in the works. Ed Robson’s production begins as Cinderella is happily preparing for marriage to her Prince when evil Mandragora casts a spell over our young heroine which sends her off to the forest rather than the church. To make it worse, naughty old Mandy has wiped Cinders’ memory clean so she hasn’t a clue who she is or what is going on waking in the wood of wizards.

The last show in the old well-loved theatre, Ed Robson’s production puts a new spin on the fairy tale, bringing in a touch of the Lord of the Rings coupled with sheer daftness as the cast of five take on a profusion of characters including a pair of robust ugly sisters.

The forest magicians do their best for their guest, acting out her story and playing the roles of those that people her world. Their labours are not in vain as she remembers who she is and finally returns for the wedding. There are a few holdups on the road to the aisle, however, as Mandragora pokes her nose in.

Watching with an audience full of very young children, it became clear that they were not entirely immersed in what was unfolding in front of them. Perhaps a straightforward telling of the traditional story would have hit the mark as this version was somewhat confusing, coming in almost at the end of Cinders’ tale and re-running it from the start only to stop just before the wedding itself.

Runs at Cumbernauld Theatre until December 24.

Tags: theatre

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