We all know that panto is not your usual theatre experience. All rules (well, almost all) that apply when you go to the theatre are abandoned, and adults digress into children as they interact with the actors onstage. For this very special panto, rules are bent even further as it is an ‘adult-only’ performance with very adult-only content. I can tell you, when going to watch Sinderfella, you are in for one hell of a ride.

Upon entering the venue, we were met by Jordan (Simon Gross) who was interacting with the audience, building rapport, and charmingly offending all of us, excellently setting the scene! Shortly before the start of the show, we were gently reminded to switch off our phones, received yet another content warning, and were kindly asked to f*** off if we were easily offended – a cue that the front row took not even 10 minutes in (which the cast took with grace). Well, they missed out on an entertaining evening!

The audience is transported to a magical land far, far away where Fairy Dolly (Glenn Wallis) and her friend Fairy Daniella (EastEnders’ Daniella Westbrook) wait for Cinderella to start the show. As she is reported to have taken off to the Jungle (allegedly with Matt Hancock), a new Cinderella must be found. Luckily, Drag Artist Luna Cortez is around to fill the glass slippers, and with a little encouragement from the audience, the plot can take off. The script by Simon Gross follows the original story we all know very closely, only updated to host very inappropriate jokes and allow room for bursts of songs. Along the way we meet a variety of charming pantomime characters, including Cinderella, Prince Charming – I mean Prince Donkey Dick of Soho (Connor McGrane) – and of course the ugly stepsisters Jordan and Kylie (also Glenn Wallis) as well as the charming Buttons (Connor Hignell) and a very funny Dandini (Billy Lynch).

The performance was captivating and entertaining, and the audience participated gladly (although some of us needed a couple of minutes to warm up). The strong vocal performances of Luna Cortez and Hignell pleasantly surprised me and compelled me to listen, rather than to sing along. The same goes for McGrane who sang ‘You Raise Me Up’ so beautifully that I gladly forgave the lyric slip in one of my all-time favorite songs. It was a great night for all of them. Throughout the show we were blessed with great dance routines (choreographed by Lynch), plenty of theatrical talent (shout out to Hignell’s Buttons who I wanted to hug several times), and great comedic timing. The majority of jokes are dirty, inappropriate, and sometimes outright offensive, but we were all here for it. I only wished the costume and sound design had matched the quality of the performances.

I did have to ease into the adult humor but found myself to enjoy the experience, the great interaction, and the dedication of the cast. Overall, Sinderfella is a fast-paced, nasty piece of a show that celebrates panto, drag, queer- and quirkiness. And I loved that!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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