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A Christmas Pantomime Mash-Up

TARA CARLIN reviews ‘Cinderella and the Beanstalk’

Remember all your childhood favourites – Cinderella, Jack and The Beanstalk, Aladdin, Peter Pan and Snow White? Theatre 503’s pantomime medley, ‘Cinderella and The Beanstalk’, includes all these tales and others.

Three-man theatre group, The Sleeping Trees, delivers this dynamic and bizarre production with such hilarity that they have been referred to as a ‘three man version of Mitchell and Webb’ (Bill Parslow, Fringe Review). Indeed director Tom Attenborough’s production offers an abundance of both wit and energy.

When James, Josh and John forget the actors for the pantomime they are putting on they are forced out of their original roles as three sleeping trees, and into the costumes of their cast.

Cinderella and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Trees, shh, Theatre503. Copyright Ian Kitt

The actors play their multiple parts with equal excellence, meeting this challenging task admirably. James Dunnell-Smith takes on the role as leading lady Cinderella, as well as Jafar from Aladdin. Joshua George Smith delivers an effeminate archetype of the Fairy Godmother, a carefree Mr. Cow and the devilish puppet Rumplestiltskin. Meanwhile John Woodburn comically performs the parts of Prince Charming and the two Ugly Sisters synonymously.

The trio has only their deadpan musician Mark Newnham to assist them, which by no means limits the quality of the production: the score ranges from traditional nursery rhymes; songs from Disney stories and pantomimes; and contemporary music, like the diminutive and evil Rumpelstiltskin’s spoof of ‘I’m Sexy and I know it’.

‘Cinderella and the Beanstalk’ is showing until 10 January. For more information and tickets please click here https://theatre503.com/book-online/

Image attributed to Ian Kitt