Saturday, 26 December 2020

REVIEW: Cinderella at KidZania (Online)

KidZania is a scaled city replica of real life for children from 4-14 years, designed to empower and inspire, located in West London (W12) which of course was closed when London went into Tier 4 on 16th December. However, they were bold enough to capture a version of Cinderella earlier this year so can offer the kids a glimpse of what they are missing. The production is filmed inside the building using the street scenes as a background for the Village, the ballroom and forest and a traditional stage cloth to set the Hard Up Hall kitchen. It works extremely well giving the show a realistic feel with depth of scene and acting as a promotion for the venue.

Maybe because it is targeted at the same 4 to 14-year-olds with a low attention span in a multimedia world, the show is kept short to just forty-five minutes and they focus on the music rather than the traditional pantomime business and jokes. We only get a handful of the old gags (including a good Weakest Link parody) which are slipped into the storytelling that speeds along until the custard pies provide a weak finish. There ought to be a warning message to the under fourteens "to not try this at home" when Cinderella gets shut in a fridge as opposed to the usual dungeon or cupboard. The call-outs to the audience of course go unanswered which feels flat and they don't acknowledge the silence but pretend there is a response. 

The MD, Ed Court, packs a lot of well-known songs into the show including Beyoncé "Who run the world", Queens "Somebody to love", the Friends Theme "I'll be there for you", James Blunt "You are beautiful", Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston "When you Believe", Beyoncé "Crazy in love", Streisand "Rain on my Parade" and from the Trolls Film "Move your Feet/DANCE". They have a great feel and are well sung by the cast.

Becky Lane is an excellent Cinderella opposite Luke Street as Prince Charming. Nicholas McLean is a cheeky enthusiastic Buttons. The ugly sisters look the part with Jamie Jones as Fifi (with the feel of the great Danny La Rue) and Corney Jackson as Gigi and with Ashleigh Harvey as their wicked stepmother. There is no Dandini leaving Buttons to deliver the invites to the ball. The Fairy Godmother is played by Amy Matthews and when she magics up the Coach for Cinderella it is a KidZania fire engine. 

This is a very good looking capture of the performance, well-edited, although there is an echoey quality to the spoken word probably because they don't have personal mics and is a lively enjoyable show for its target audience, leaving us wanting more.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £15

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