Thursday, February 29

Cinderella – Lyric Hammersmith

Lyric Hammersmith’s annual panto promises endless family fun in this modern retelling of Cinderella. In this story Cinderella is a thriving business woman who isn’t quite honest about how hard life is on Instagram. Filled with recognisable songs with a cheeky panto twist, this panto is not to be missed.

The Lyric Theatre runs as a Charity and offers a number of complementary tickets to local schools during the panto season and also runs a number of initiatives to support the local community theatre scene. Despite the charitable status, the lyric is still able to mount a West End level show!

Tilly La Belle Yengo used fantastic vocals as Cinderella. She led the cast effortlessly, pacing the play perfectly, enjoying some comical moments of interaction with the audience. Tilly’s Cinderella is mischievous, and powerful. All of the small children hung on her every word, making magical moments for the audience.

Emmanuel Akwofa stole the show as stepmother Lady Jelly-Bottom. Emmanuel made the most of every moment on stage, using his excellent comic intuition to also add background comic moments too. I particularly enjoyed the banter with the front row, he handled a young lad shouting at him with ease and used it as an opportunity to improvise adding more funny moments to the scenes.

© Manuel Harlan

The stepsisters bought allot of fun to the stage changing their voices throughout to fit the different parts. Megan Treadway did an excellent job of making a young child feel comfortable during the audience song. Charlie Cameron really committed to making the glass shoe appear dramatically painful.

Jodie Jacobs bought the magic as the fairy narrator and helped set the tone of the whole show. Jodie also shared lots of funny moments with the prince as Minty.

The set design by Good Teeth helped to bring the panto to life. I particularly enjoyed how the AGA came to life. It’s particularly impressive that the set is all made of recycled materials from previous years.

Corin Buckeridge smoothly added panto lyrics to recognisable songs. There was a range of music that every generation will enjoy. The overture was paired with excellent lighting design by Ciarán Cunningham and helped to start the party atmosphere. Adam Gerber did an excellent job bringing the cast together to sound excellent throughout the panto. The ensemble were full of energy and layered all the singing with beautiful harmonies.

Panto fans will love The Lyric theatres Cinderella. This is a fun panto that all ages can enjoy. The relaxed atmosphere also makes this a great first panto or first theatre trip for young children. There were lots of moments for interaction and a particular highlight was the Ghost Gag that had the kids standing up, waving and pointing at the ghost. One enthusiastic audience member was very close to jumping on the stage to help!  The cast use lots of energy throughout and cast have great chemistry so any improvised comedy with the audience blends in seamlessly. This panto is hysterical and bursting full of comedy, show-stopping songs and magic!

Playing until 6th January 2024, https://lyric.co.uk/shows/cinderella2023/

Reviewer: Jennifer Laishley

Reviewed: 1st December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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