In 1995, British comedian Jim Davidson produced and starred in Sinderella, an adults-only Pantomime version of the fairy tale "Cinderella". One of the performances was recorded for a video entitled Sinderella Live.
In Sinderella, Jim Davidson plays the part of Buttons, manservant to Baron Hard-on (a phallic play on the Hardup surname normally used in the pantomime; played by Charlie Drake) and best friend of the Baron's daughter Cinderella (Dianne Lee, half of folk/pop duo Peters and Lee), who also has to put up with abuse from Cinderella's stepsisters, Camilla (Roger Kitter) and Madonna (Dave Lee), but later receives guidance from the Fairy Godmother (Mia Carla). Meanwhile, the well-hung Prince Charming (Jess Conrad), with the help of his assistant Dandini (David Kristian), organises a ball to try and find a potential wife.
"Sinderella" contains examples of the following tropes (based on the video):
- Audience Participation: Well, it is a Pantomime performance after all.
- Audience Participation Song: Baron Hard-on leads the audience in a song about a fish - specifically, a sole - with the lyrics "What a wonderful fish are soles" (i.e. "arseholes", British spelling/pronunciation of "assholes").
- Beware the Nice Ones: After putting up with abuse from her stepsisters, Cinderella finally stands up for herself when ordered to cook some food. Her defiant response even includes a single "Fuck you!", much to the audience's delight.
- Big Sister Bully: Cinderella's stepsisters - even going so far as trading barbs with one another, for example:Camilla (Roger Kitter): You got a man?Madonna (Dave Lee): Yes I did, and he took me back to his flat and flung me on the bed, opened my legs—Camilla: Eugh!Madonna: —and whispered those magical words...Camilla: Yeah — "Come on, Fatso - fart and give us a clue!"
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Prince Charming's "package" no less.
- Break the Cutie: When Camilla hands Cinderella her ball ticket seemingly as a gesture of goodwill, she backs down on her goodwill and orders Cinderella to tear the ticket up. Madonna takes the ticket from Cinderella and tears it up, leaving a despondent Cinderella in tears.
- Country Matters: Hilariously played with as Innocent Swearing on three occasions:(From the video's introduction)Buttons: They said, "You can't!" I said, "There's no need to call me that!"Prince Charming (Jess Conrad): Now look here, you country person!Buttons: (pretending to be insulted) Don't you call me a tree person, and stop using my first name! (to audience) (If you) rewind that a bit, you'll get that joke about the third run.(Later, in the Hard-on kitchen)Buttons: I'm going to the ball!Cinderella (Diane Lee): (gasps) You can't!Buttons: (to audience) What did she call me, children?Cinderella: No, no, Buttons! (miming writing, very slowly) You caaaaaaaaaan't!Buttons: She's called me a bigger one now!
- Curse Cut Short:Buttons: And when I see her, I'm going to fu— You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to marry her!Baron Hard-on: (describing the phallic-shaped vibrator for Cinderella) "It's for fu— (pause during audience laughter) That, Cinderella, is magic!"
- Drag Queen: In line with usual pantomime performances of Cinderella, the Ugly Sisters are performed by two men.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Any time one (or both) of the Ugly Stepsisters insults the audience.
Camilla: (to that audience member) Shut up, you cackling old cow!Buttons: Mind you, she does cackle.
- For example:
- Gag Penis:
Prince Charming: That looks like one of my old ones!
- Prince Charming's "bulge" (see also Bigger Is Better in Bed)
- The stock pantomime horse has a massive one.
- Baron Hard-on also gives Cinderella the abovementioned vibrator which, when rubbed, summons the Genie o' the Prick note , later revealled as Cinderella's Fairy Godmother.
- The "pantomime sausage" in the pie, which belonged to a naked man hiding under the pie.
- When Dandini takes a long sock off of Madonna's leg, the top of the sock is attached to a "full set" (if you will) of a penis and testicles.
- Helium Speech: Hilariously invoked when Buttons drinks "weird" water offered by Cinderella when he tries to imitate Joe Cocker's higher vocal range during a rendition of "Up Where We Belong".
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Dandini to Prince Charming.
- Medium Awareness: Buttons occasionally points out the fact the performance is being videotaped for posterity and - potentially - the hope of editing the video to show Cinderella marrying Buttons instead of Prince Charming which, unfortunately for Buttons, does not happen.
Prince Charming (Jess Conrad): I'm not getting any younger. Don't let these looks fool you. Next birthday, I'll be 27.(Audience jeers)Prince Charming: It's only a panto! So I took off two years!
- Also this moment:
- Musicalis Interruptus:
- Invoked when Buttons asks the band to stop playing "Up Where We Belong" following the abovementioned "weird" water incident.
- As Prince Charming (in disguise as Dandini) starts singing "This Pullover" (incidentally a song recorded by Jess Conrad in the early 1960s), Buttons walks on and the song stops suddenly.
- Also invoked when Prince Charming requests the band to stop playing after Cinderella runs away from the ball.
- No Fourth Wall: Being a pantomime performance and all.
- No Indoor Voice: Any time Baron Hard-on yells to get his point (or an F-laden punchline) across.
- Perpetual Smiler: Cinderella. Except for the abovementioned ticket-tearing scene; see Break the Cutie.
- Precision F-Strike: Buttons, the Ugly Stepsisters and (especially) Baron Hard-on took full advantage of the adults-only setting of this show. Even Cinderella lets one out at her stepsisters toward the end of the show.
- Exaggerated when Camilla moons the audience with the words FUCK OFF written on her naked bottom during a confrontation with Buttons.
- Running Gag:
- Baron Hard-on sneezing, with the audience responding "Bless You!".
- Buttons pointing out the pantomime is being recorded.
- Prince Charming winking and smiling at the audience, with the Twinkle Smile effect added during video post-production.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Baron Hard-on.
- There are quite a few references to Star Trek.
- When Buttons finds out Cinderella doesn't love him, Deborah's Theme" plays.
- Swapped Roles: Also invokes the Mistaken for Servant trope in which Prince Charming decides early on to switch places with Dandini.
- Vaudeville: About halfway through the second act, some of the cast members perform a rendition of "If I Were Not Upon the Stage", a song popular among holiday camps in the United Kingdom. In this version, the song features eight of the play's characters imitating (in order) a bus conductor (Jim Davidson), a doctor (Mia Carla), a Shakespearian actor (David Kirstian), a Gestapo officer (Roger Kitter), two footballers (Alan Cullanney and Stephen Joseph), a rabbi (Dave Lee) and a "Teddy boy" (Jess Conrad, in homage to his entertainment history).
- Wrote the Book: Played with in which Jim Davidson co-wrote the script; his character, Buttons, boasts that he will marry Cinderella at the end of the play because he wrote it. As mentioned above, someone else marries Cinderella.
Buttons: Who writes this shit? [sic]Audience: You did!Buttons: Oh no I didn't!Audience: Oh yes you did!Buttons: I must have been drinking, then!
- Also this exchange: