Over the last 32 years, Cornwall-based theatre company Kneehigh has firmly established itself as one of our most consistently innovative theatre companies. For BAC's first family Christmas show since 2010, they've gone for an anarchic, contemporary adaptation of the Cinderella tale that, as always with Kneehigh, treads a fine line between pantomime, concert, storytelling and physical theatre.
BAC's cavernous great hall removes some of the intimacy that the company specialise in creating between performer and audience: with bleacher-like seats and a high ceiling, it feels more like a school gym than a theatre. But the performers quickly turn that to their advantage, persuading most of the audience to get up and dance at the Prince's ball (in fact, he has not one, but two). With a glitterball spinning overhead and party music resounding from the speakers, the vibe is soon that of a riotous school disco.
It's all great fun, and the performers – most of whom are familiar faces from other Kneehigh productions – are excellent. Especially Phil Brodie as the vain, 'Made in Chelsea'-style Prince; and Audrey Brisson – both a talented singer and physical performer – as Midnight, the show's recasting of Cinderella. Unusually for Kneehigh, the storytelling is a little baggy, and the show could be shorter, but I defy theatre-lovers of any age not to be swept away by the festive party atmosphere.