Soho Cinders with New Cast, 3 Stars

Soho Cinders
Charing Cross Theatre
23rd Dec 2019 to 11th Jan 2020

“Michael Mather and Livvy Evans are to lead the extension cast of Soho Cinders at Charing Cross Theatre.
Michael Mather (Hades in the world premiere of ‘Mytihc’ at Charing Cross Theatre, JImmy in ‘Flashdance’) will step into Robbie’s “Glass Slippers” alongside Livvy Evans (‘Motown’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Sister Act’) as Velcro when the show extends from 23 December 2019 to 11 January 2020.
Another addition to the cast and taking over the role of William George is Dayle Hodge (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘Les Misérables’).
He joins the previously announced Hollie Taylor (‘Matilda’, ‘Betty Blue Eyes’, ‘Oliver!’) who performed her first show as Dana earlier this week.
Continuing in their roles will be Tori Hargreaves as Marilyn Platt, Lewis Asquith as James Prince and Michaela Stern as Clodagh. The role of Lord Bellingham is still to be announced.
New to the ensemble will be Liam McHugh (‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘We Will Rock You’) who joins Melissa Rose, Luke Byrne, Savannah Reed, Thomas Ball, Laura Fulgenzi and Jade Bailey who will all remain with the show until the end of its extended run.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

It’s unusual to return to a show to give a 2nd review however the change of cast has prompted this production to invite more Reviews.

I’m not so sure this was a good idea.

The strengths of the show remain – the music is gorgeous, Lewis Asquith and Tori Hargreaves are still fabulous, the choreography (Adam Haigh) remains dynamic and powerful. Joe Louis Robinson took the baton tonight with a sensitivity that was wonderful!

Michael Mather is very strong taking over the role of Robbie. I really did feel the emotion he conveyed in being misunderstood by his lover and the challenge he faced between morality and cash. He performed in a manner that was gripping and real.

Liam McHugh was a powerful addition and added eye candy in a show that is helped with showing some male totty.

But unfortunately the other cast changes don’t quite add the impact you’d hope.

The production flaws are still very evident – the cast are over-mic’d which make them hold back on their vocal energy. The very second a song starts and the Reverb sounds like they’ve fallen down a well – there’s no gradual build into this.

The lighting (Jack Weir) is still appallingly bad! You’d hope that with a cast change, which undoubtedly required additional rehearsals in the venue, that this would allow for some technical fixes, but no, faces are still in the dark, the lighting is the same for Soho Streets, laundrettes, ballroom scenes, mayoral offices etc. No understanding of the script or story is evident. There are multiple attempts to find the cast’s faces but these mostly fail and bear no resemblence to the location. Add in the lighting operator’s early/late cue’ing and what you get is a complete mess, in the dark. Comedy in the gloom and love songs with faces in shadow do not work!

A better production team, or a more experienced Director, could so easily fix this shambles!

If you want to see how a technical mess can ruin an otherwise brilliant show which has a fantastic cast – this is the show to see!

And it’s such a shame!