10th to 14th December 2019

Paul Hutton | Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham | Directed by James Williams

As the title of this filthily raucous adult panto suggests, this is Cinderella as you’ve never seen her before. Out with pumpkins and glass slippers; in with dildos and dating apps. Not so much ‘will she go to the ball?’ as ‘will she swipe left, or right?’

Tinder-Ella, directed by James Williams and currently running at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, is a modern re-telling of everyone’s favourite fairytale. A princess in search of love, hoping to find her prince charming (or something a little baser in this raunchy production). Apparently over 20% of us meet partners online now so it seems apt that this version brings Cinders right up to date.

Adult panto is growing in popularity as Julian Clary’s seasonal fixture at the Palladium proves. Travelling down to London for a dose of festive adult panto fun won’t be necessary this year if you’re close to Birmingham though. Tinder-Ella, written by Paul Hutton, does exactly what it says on the tin: the whole cast completely commit to their roles and deliver exactly what an adult pantomime should. Expect filthy jokes, outrageous punning and more double entendres than you can shake an amusingly shaped stick at.

Jack William Callagan brings a camp likeability to the role of Sluttons, mincing around the stage and interacting very naturally with a first night crowd who lapped it up. He holds the show together in a performance which is never mean, endearing himself to the audience from the off. Daisy-May Parsons’ Tinder-Ella is sweetly sassy: she brings a strong voice to the title role of the singleton on the hunt for a mate.

There’s great chemistry between the ugly sisters, Clunge and Flange (I know), played by Emma Morgan and Thom Stafford. Sex obsessed and relentlessly bullying Tinder-Ella, they make a top double act and provide some of the show’s comic highlights. Prince Charming, played by Alex McDonald-Smith, is suitably cute and, well, charming. With his smarmy smile, he certainly seems the perfect fella for Tinder-Ella. Or does he?

The plot doesn’t hold up to much analysis but that’s simply not the point and it doesn’t matter one jot. The cast work well together, embracing the naughtiness and silliness of the show and bringing an infectious energy to the stage. A definite swipe to the right for this wholly inclusive, filthy night of adult fun with laughs a-plenty.

Tinder-Ella is playing at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter from 10th to 14th December 2019.