Ella Enchanted

This empowering retelling of the Cinderella story left Ruby Foster, aged eight, wishing for a little more 'show' and a little less 'tell'

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Ella Enchanted
Published 15 Aug 2017

What happens in the show?

 
Ella is born. She's given a gift by a fairy and the gift is that she must obey everyone. Fifteen years later she and her mum get a cold and there’s this magical soup that makes it better but the mum doesn’t drink it and dies (sorry kids!). Fed up with doing what everyone tells her, Ella goes to find the fairy to give back her “gift”…


Describe the show in five words

 
Like a decent school play. 


Who was your favourite character and why?   

I liked the fairy that gave Ella her powers because she was very clumsy and very silly. The bit where she came barging in and belly-flopped on the ground was one of my favourite bits in the whole show. She had a wonderful outrageous voice (in a good way).

 

Were there any characters you didn’t like? 

I’m not saying I didn’t like them but I didn’t get the point in the knights coming in. They weren’t in it for long and it would have been more romantic with just the prince. There seemed to be a few extra roles that maybe didn’t need to be included and this made the show feel kind of squeezed. A bit like a sandwich with too many fillings. 


What did you like most about the show? 

I liked the energetic performances from some of the actors. There were a few funny parts and I was impressed by the actor who played Ella. She remembered all her lines and she had a lot to say. A lot to say.


What didn’t you like about the show?

 
I didn’t like it because they seemed to spend more time saying the story than actually acting it out. I would also have liked to see more props or more imaginative use of the props they had.  What’s the point of having glass slippers in the story but using gold slippers on the stage? The lighting only changed the slightest bit and there was hardly any sound effects. Overall they didn’t really have much magic for a magical world.  


What did you think of the music?


There was one song in it and it was really important to the story but the actual song wasn't very good and the actors didn’t make enough of it. It was quite bland.


What did your grown-up think of the show? 

"We’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few imaginative and engaging kids' shows in the last few years and this was quite underwhelming by comparison. “Show don’t tell” is a pretty good rule but it was ignored here to the extent that I wondered if it would make for a better radio play. Buried in there somewhere was a decent story about young women making choices but dense script and flat staging made it hard to engage with. I was not enchanted.


Would you tell your friends to come and see the show? 

No, because I think I would forget about it quite quickly.