Qdos has thrown everything at its Liverpool production, including a talented cast, sumptuous sets, dazzling costumes and even a flying horse. The high-end production values scream at you.
In fact, the whole thing screams very loudly indeed, and the decibel level is astonishing as the pit band strike up the overture. The arrangements and original music are well-crafted, and the cast are all excellent singers, but it could do with a little less volume.
Alan McHugh’s script possibly contains every Christmas cracker joke that exists and is liberally seasoned with rather self-conscious Scouse humour. It’s very funny, but a few things are missing. Cinderella’s father and stepmother are nowhere to be seen, with no explanation for their absence. Most of the plot has also vanished, though the show is pulled off with so much pizazz that you barely notice that the story has been dropped somewhere along the forest path.
Olivia Sloyan and Duncan James do a great job as Cinderella and her Prince Charming, and Jodie Prenger makes a fine, flying Fairy Godmother. The cast keep the pace going well and, while it all feels a bit too corporate, studded with dreadful jokes and endless glitter, it’s entertaining stuff nonetheless.