When her Evil Stepmother does not allow her a mobile phone and she feels she is missing out, 21 year old Ella starts speaking in emojis and hashtags. Luckily the Fairy Matchmaker understands her pain and because we are in an adult panto it does not take long for Ella to admit that has signed up to dating app Tinder to get, ahem, laid.
The Fairy Matchmaker helps in setting up Ella’s profile and because of her mission also does the same for Roger who works in Winter Wonderland in an Aladdin costume – be more Prince Harry, less Prince Philip, she advises Roger. It takes some swiping for Tinderella and Prince Charming to become a match but they get there after plenty of their matchmaker’s costume changes: Date night!
Apparently South African casual dining chain Nando’s is location number one for a first date in London (I had no idea) so here they meet – with the same aim they do not stay for dessert but head to Roger’s place and what follows is terribly silly, smutty and fun at the same time. But there is a midnight rule as with every magical help transformation and Ella’s actually very lonely Evil Stepmother with her pussy cat and her beaver at home… let’s not give away too much now.
Expect plenty of booing, cheering and of course “Oh, yes it is!” and “Oh, no it isn’t!” interaction and the odd song every now and again. The piano on stage is played all the way through – and who would not fall for a piano player? It is all over after an hour which is fine and one of the reasons why we chose it as a mid-week, brain-off girls-night out after work on the rare chances we get together.
The other main reasons were that neither of us had been to an adult panto before and that none of us ever used Tinder (or only when we got hold of a colleague’s phone with surprising results). By the laughs around us and the lack of empty seats you can tell the Canal Café Theatre has hit a nerve – all 60 seemed to be taken. They serve an outstandingly good mulled wine in the pub downstairs and there we meet the Fairy Matchmaker. Without high heels, make up and glittery frocks he tells us that there is another show on afterwards and that NewsRevue claims to be the world’s longest running live comedy show. Wow!
We cannot stay to say goodbye, so off to Warwick Avenue we go and head towards Winchester, Shabbington and Twickenham. After so much obscenity and profanity I am surprised myself how christmassy I feel.
And yes, I resisted writing about this review in Ella’s emoji vocabulary #just saying #sorrynotsorry #MerryChristmas
Tinderella by Mark Daniels, directed by Roann McCloskey
**** out of 5 stars
We paid £15 for each seat plus fees.
Another adult panto is planned for 2019.