Alex Young deserves top marks for bringing a touch of magic to west London with his ambitious revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s sweeping musical fairytale.
Designer Christopher Hone takes the tiny space and creates a toy-box world filled with illuminated houses stacked like presents. While not the song writing duo’s finest compositions, the tunes are catchy and the show’s wry portrait of fractious families is well timed.
Strong baritone Vlach Ashton is dashing as snood-wearing heartthrob Prince Christopher, and Cinderella is a touching, tuneful but too quiet Kirsty Mann. Lydia Jenkins is great fun as Cinderella’s ironically named stepsister Grace, making her a lisping, boss-eyed and resentful ‘Made in Chelsea’ wannabe, while Josh Carter scene-steals as sardonic manservant Lionel. Helen Colby also stands out as a marvellously no-nonsense Fairy Godmother and embittered, social-climbing Stepmother.
The show is outstripped by its aspirations. But a cluttered feel and some technical clunkiness don’t spoil its wit, charm and seasonal sparkle.