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#FreshOffTheStalls ‘Cinderella and the Beanstalk’ (Theatre503, London)

cinderella and the beanstalk

Panto that swings from the rafters, Sleeping Tree’s Cinderella and the Beanstalk is a screamingly original manic mash-up like no other.


Comedy trio Sleeping Trees are back in Battersea again this year with their panto mash-up. The costumes are made, Theatre503 has been booked, but there’s one problem: no actors have been cast! Therefore it’s up to James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua George Smith, and John Woodburn to play all the characters in the panto splatterdash that is Cinderella and the Beanstalk in order not to disappoint all the little boys and girls in the audience (oh no, they won’t).

Cinderella and the Beanstalk smashes a silly amount of beloved pantomime stories for an anarchic romp through the beloved pastime that is panto. After last year’s sell-out run, Sleeping Trees are delighted that Cinderella and the Beanstalk has been invited back for an encore.

“We are extremely excited to be returning to Theatre503, now as Associate Artists of the venue, with Cinderella and the Beanstalk. We were delighted with the response the show got from audiences last Christmas, in particular seeing children engage so enthusiastically with the show and theatre in general. We can’t wait to climb back into our onesies and get going again. We’ve got some time in the studio to set up so we can make this year’s show even bigger and better than before. So hang on to your popcorn, because the theatre doesn’t like it if you make a mess!”

Dunnell-Smith, George Smith, and Woodburn are the all singing, all dancing, all character-switching “professionals” behind Cinderella and the Beanstalk, who are not unknown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with previous successes such as Mafia? and Western?. Their style is sparse, clever, but most importantly very funny. After rave reviews from the likes of Time Out and West End Wilma last year last year, Sleeping Trees’ return is much anticipated.

Cinderella and the Beanstalk is directed by Tom Attenborough, the grandson of the late great Richard Attenborough, and has directed shows at the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, the Old Vic, Menier Chocolate Factoryand in the West End. Attenborough also voiced Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban video games.

Cinderella and the Beanstalk plays at Theatre503, London, SW11 3BW, until 2 January 2016. Tickets are £15 (concessions available). To book, visit https://theatre503.com.