Soho Cinders at Charing Cross Theatre: Press Night review by Stephen Vowles 

If ever a show deserved to be a bigger, broader and brassier production and performed on a larger space then that show is Stiles and Drewe’s Soho Cinders. With the action taking place in the centre of the theatre, the audience are situated either side creating a sense of being completely involved. 

The cast, all competent performers, are completely on point with the material and lead Luke Bayer as Robbie excels demonstrating a wonderful range in his vocals and at the same time bringing a vulnerability to the role. He works in a laundrette once own by his mother in Soho and has been subsequently cheated out of his inheritance by his two stepsisters played with such an infectious energy by Michaela Stern as Clodagh and Natalie Harman as Dana. They are complete scene stealers. 

Robbie has met and fallen in love with James Prince, a London Mayoral candidate, played by Lewis Asquith who happened to be engaged to Marilyn Platt played by Tori Hargreaves. So complications ensue as Robbie is also being pursued by Lord Bellingham, played by Christopher Coleman, who basically lavishes gifts on Robbie with the main aim to get him into bed. 

With a back story of William George played by Ewan Gillies acting as Prince’s spin doctor and Millie O’Connell as Velcro who is Robbie’s best friend, having his best interests at heart, the whole musical zips along with polished performances from all concerned. 

Stand out numbers are Hard To Tell, They Don’t Make Glass Slippers and Fifteen Minutes of Fame. The score is clever in the way it repeats the basic melody and the lyrics act as very good  additions to the story serving as a valuable asset to move the plot along. This is a hugely enjoyable musical, great fun and who does not love a happy ending?

Photos by Pamela Raith


Cinders runs to Saturday 21 December, Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NL. Box office: 08444 930 650

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