REVIEW - Cinderella, University Drama Studio

Handsworth & Hallam Theatre Company has produced a thoroughly enjoyable version of this ever popular tale.

Our eponymous heroine is at the beck and call of her ghastly stepsisters. However soon a trendy Fairy Godmother, complete with mobile phone and 80's legwarmers, unites with lovable Buttons. A bit of magic ensures "She shall go to the ball"

It's a real ensemble performance with every player fizzing with enthusiasm.

The dancers aged from about 3 to 50 smile brightly and glide about the stage, singing and dancing. Mark Holmes and Adam L Walker are wonderfully over the top as the ugly sisters. Katie Mather and Sally Brown gel well as Cinderella and Prince Charming and both have terrific voices. Gareth Carson keeps the audience vocal with his lovesick Buttons.

Almost stealing the show is the excellent and sorely underused Alex Fergusson as Dot the Fairy Godmother (as in .com geddit?)

The sartorial elegance prize goes to the ugly sisters for a series of fabulously hideous outfits. (Sorry Cinders).

There are plenty of laughs here. Grabbit and Snatchit use a google map to find Hardup Hall. Also there are the inevitable innuendos, which will go over children's heads. "The princes ball's get bigger each year."

The seldom, praised lighting crew have a blast too. When the ugly sisters are hatching a plan to stop Cinderella be with Prince Charming, their evil nature is clear as the stage is bathed in a red hue.

New publicity officer David Bradley is a good sport as he gets mercilessly picked on by The Ugly Sisters.

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