No balloon bosoms, garish make-up, gravity defying skirts or audience taunting here. The not-so-ugly sisters are far from the usual dames you’d see stomping around in more traditional Christmas pantos. But this isn’t your usual Christmas panto.
Barb and Dolly bring the Cinderella story bang-up-to-date, blaming the media for their portrayal as evil caricatures and joking about Insta, Twitter and Love Island.
In this re-imagining of the story, Cinders is conspicuous by her absence from the hairdressers where she used to work with her two sisters before she ran off with the prince.
This time, the two sisters are the stars of the show, regaling us with tales of events on the night of the ball, the stresses and strains of running their own business, sibling rivalry and the rift with their little sister.
Lucy Rafton and Daisy Ann Fletcher are a great comedy duo who kept us laughing and were very convincing as Dolly the romantic and Barb the cynic – the chalk and cheese pair looking for their happy ever after.
Quite a few of the gags were aimed at the parents and older children so went over the heads of our six-year-old and his pals. But the littles loved the physical theatre and were particularly tickled by Daisy Ann Fletcher’s portrayal of the pompous, handsome prince, using only her acting skills and a black plastic hair comb masquerading as a moustache.
And we all loved the sparkly, light bedecked salon where the storytelling takes place, with witty songs and gorgeous harmonies bringing the show alive. Speaking of which, if you’re a fan of a good singalong, make sure you pick up a programme which has the lyrics of the show songs inside, including, Mariah’s Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You, a festive finale guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit as you prepare to head home after a great night out.
The Not So Ugly Sisters is at Waterside Arts, Sale from 24 November 2021 to 1 January 2022.
Postman Pat Exhibition at Waterside Arts:
If you’re planning a trip to the show it’s well worth going a little early so you can also check out the exhibition space which is currently home to sets from the much-loved Postman Pat series.
We had a great time marvelling at the sheer detail of the beautifully crafted scenes.
There’s so much to see, from Pat and his van, the lighthouse, town square and market to the children preparing for Halloween in school at the fictional village of Greendale where the series was set.
It was great fun spotting and pointing out the tiny props and really interesting to see some of the early storyboard plans. Even if you’ve no Postman Pat fans in your group, it’s still well worth a visit.