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A Very, Very Bad Cinderella - The Other Palace Review

Reviewed by Amelia Bascombe
Disclaimer: ticket was gifted in return for an honest review

Well, to quote the fairy godmother, ‘that’s 2 hours of my life I’m never getting back’. Now theatre is completely subjective, and shows are always going to have divided opinions. I’m sure that groups of friends would find this a fun night out, and to be honest, maybe I’m not the right demographic, but the show just didn’t land for me.

Imelda Warren-Green, Veronica Green and May Tether. Photo by Danny Kaan

The production utilises all of West Ends best numbers with the likes of Hamilton, Waitress and Six, but if this is a love letter to all london’s favourite musicals, then I’d politely request a breakup. The Sunset Boulevard revival reference went down like Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella on broadway. Too many of the credits were too niche for most of the audience to grasp. It seems in an act of sacrifice, A Very Very Bad Cinderella, has been produced to make the rest of the West End look good.

One of my standout performers of the year, Oscar Conlan-Morrey, makes a screen appearance as the fairy godmother and does what he can with the script he’s been given. Having seen him shine in the likes of Only Fools and Mother Goose, I’m sad he’s been reduced to the saving grace of this production. 

May Tether’s vocals as Cinderella are stunning as always, but just not enough to save the writing. Her lines were predictable and didn’t allow for a groundbreaking reinvention of the character. Step sisters Imelda Warren-Green and Veronica Green did well with what they had, and delivered some good vocals with parodies of Six and The Prom. I can imagine they’d do well in other productions, and would be keen to see them used to their full potential. Keanna Bloomfield opens the show with a fun Waitress number, but again, doesn’t have a script that shows the actor she could be. Changing between Buttons and the Prince became old after the first joke and the characterisation of both didn’t blow me away.

The production was written by Jodie Prenger and Neil Hurst, who both have some great accolades to their names, but don’t flourish in this instance. The script struggles to make a unique stamp on the generic pantomime story, and the poor one liners become tiresome. Furthermore, the consistent foul language as punchlines emphasises that the writing itself just isn’t that funny. The sparkly purple set by Reuben Speed is fitting and plays into the night out kind of vibe, but the novelty of the wheelie toilets wore off quick and was only mentioned once anyway. 

May Tether and Keanna Bloomfield. Photo by Danny Kaan

If you’re looking for a fun night with your pals, or you can push the boat out for your office Christmas party, then this might be the show for you. I’d urge others to give it a chance despite my views, but unfortunately I don’t envision this show going on to win a ton of Oliviers. At least the show is self aware however, because it is in my opinion, very very bad.

A Very, Very Bad Cinderella runs at The Other Palace until Sunday 7th January 2024 with tickets available from

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