On Saturday 23rd of November, I went to the Charing Cross Theatre for the afternoon matinee of Soho Cinders – a twist on the children’s fairytale Cinderella, but be warned as this is certainly one you won’t want to take your kids to! Filled with adult humour, this is a really enjoyable show for anyone 13 and up!
The story follows student Robbie who falls for and is romantically involved with James Prince an engaged candidate for mayor. When their worlds collide they have to fight for their happy ending that every fairytale deserves.
First up we have Luke Bayer who plays the main man Robbie. This was my first time seeing Luke in something, I knew he had previously been the understudy Jamie at Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which really showed! There were a lot of songs where he sang notes which reminded me of the current Jamie, I would have loved to see his Jamie as I’m sure it was incredible! Luke was great in this role! He has such a likeable personality/presence which just made you smile whenever he was on stage. He had great chemistry with Lewis Asquith who plays James Prince, I found it really cute especially the song Gypsies of the Ether – the duet they share. I also loved his friendship with Millie’s character Velcro; you can imagine that they have as close a bond off stage as they do onstage. As mentioned Luke was a great actor in this role but he is also a fantastic singer! I especially enjoyed his solo song ‘They Don’t Make Glass Slippers’ – it gave me goosebumps, he sang it with so much passion which made the song even more special! Really glad I got to see him in something and I’m glad it was in this role!
Next, we have Millie O’Connell as Velcro- Robbie’s best mate. This was my second time seeing Millie in something as I had previously got the chance to see her as Anne Boleyn before she left Six. I really liked Velcro as a character and not to keep making Jamie references but she was like an English more x-rated Pritti, in the sense of always being there for her friend despite what anyone said about him. I enjoyed Millie’s songs especially her solo called ‘It’s Hard To Tell’ where she and Robbie go out for a night on the town and she comments on how it’s getting harder to tell anyone’s sexuality these days. Another song I really enjoyed was ‘Wishing for the Normal’ (which can be found on YouTube if you want to listen!) a duet between Velcro and Robbie where they sing about their normal type of dreams for the future such as finding the one and settling down etc. I thought their friendship and personalities shone through in that song. I also really liked her scene and song with Tori who played James’ wife, Marilyn, the song they shared called ‘Let Him Go’ was gorgeous. Overall it was really nice to see Millie again! Can’t wait to see what she goes onto next!
Following on from Millie we have Michaela Stern and Natalie Harman, who played Robbie’s lap dancing ugly sisters Clodagh and Dana. These two were hilarious! They worked really well in scenes together which made it even more fun to witness. Their songs were enjoyable and upbeat especially the song ‘I’m So Over Men’ which is the bigger of their songs; as the title suggests they sing about being over and wanting to give up men….if only they could. I found their other song ’15 Minutes of Fame’ equally enjoyable! It was sung after the press showed up at their home and want to know more about Robbie and James. Overall I loved these two! They were certainly the standout performers for me! Would love to see them both as Madame Thenardier at some point in the future as they’d be great!
Next up is Lewis Asquith who played Robbie’s love interest and engaged mayoral candidate, James Prince. I found his character really likeable. His relationship with Robbie was really cute and I enjoyed the scenes that they shared especially the above-mentioned song ‘Gypsies of the Ether’ I found it really sweet and enjoyed the chemistry that they shared. As mentioned James is already engaged to Tori’s character Marilyn; although I preferred his relationship with Robbie I found him and Tori to be just as cute as enjoyable! Next, we have his scenes with his boss William George played by Ewan Gillies, whilst Ewan’s character wasn’t always the nicest to James’ I thought they acted really well in scenes together. Overall I really enjoyed Lewis’ character and thought he was another great addition to the cast.
Moving on we have Ewan Gillies as William George, whilst William isn’t the most likeable character and is classed as the villain I enjoyed Ewan’s performance and thought he did a good job at playing this role. William is James’ campaign manager and he will do anything to get ahead, whether that is manipulating others or pulling strings to get his preferred outcome, he’ll do it. I thought Ewan had a strong voice which was showcased in the song ‘The Tail That Wags The Dog’ – which was his big song and he sang it really well. I thought Ewan did a great job at portraying William and was another good casting choice.
Finally, we have Tori Hargreaves who played Marilyn – James’ fiancee. I wish we got to see more of Tori’s character and how she took the breakup in the second act. The plot tells us that she had been with James since they were in college together; although she cares for James she struggles with letting him go in the second act. Tori was a great actress as you could feel the sadness radiating off her during the second act. I also really enjoyed her singing voice, I thought it was really nice and floaty; I enjoyed her song with Millie called ‘Let Him Go’ as well as her solo song ‘Spin (reprise)’. I thought she did a great job in this role.
Overall this is a really fun take on Cinderella – though I recommend you don’t take your kids! It’s such a shame there were lots of empty seats because this show truly deserves the same hype that Six and Waitress get! It has a catchy soundtrack and a great cast…what’s not to love?! You’d laugh all the way through and you really won’t want it to end! It is playing at the Charing Cross theatre which you probably won’t know exists; it is in the viaducts underneath Charing Cross Station. It has a unique staging where there are seats both sides of the stage with the production playing to both sides of the audience which works really well.
Breaking news is that the show has extended! They’re now booking until January! Don’t miss out on this great show! As West End tickets go these are on the cheaper side! Another reason to go!!
So get your tickets and you shall go to the ball!
If you want to buy a recording of the show to listen to you can do so here;
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