The Cindy Twitch

Cindy Winsom is a wide-eyed romantic on the hunt for the perfect man. Lacking a mother figure, who died while she was young, Cindy is left somewhat rudderless and finds herself looking for love in all the wrong places (i.e. Tinder). In The Cindy Twitch, we follow the character through a series of false starts as she seeks out romantic fulfilment.

Genevieve Butler is a lively performer as Cindy, with a confident physicality and a wide range of facial expression. Her prop game is pretty on point, and she undoubtedly spent a lot of effort crafting her cardboard-chic trunk of games and goodies.

At its heart, I think this is a show about a woman who tries to follow all the advice, and correspondingly finds herself trying to live out some pornogrified fairytale romance: chastity until marriage, but down for swallowing and anal after the nuptials. Which is a pretty neat idea at the conceptual level, but the show ends up pulling in so many directions that that message gets a bit muddled, even before you factor in the mess that is the audience participation.

Which leads us to a secondary, at times unintentional message of this show, which is that the more you try and force circumstances to match your expectations, the faster they tend to spin out of your control. Cindy wants to be a dutiful wife, but she performs her role in a way which invites less-than-stellar behaviour from her chosen prince. Partially because she also expects him to behave according to contradictory gender stereotypes – although mostly I think it's because they rushed into it a bit.

That 'prince', meanwhile, is an audience member Butler brings on stage for fully half the show. Which is a long time to trust a random punter to go along with the script you're feeding them by way of loaded questions. And the prince on the night sometimes broke that script, visibly awkward with the role he was cast in, which often disrupted the momentum of the show and left wide opportunities for the audience to heckle.

I did say earlier that Butler is a lively performer, though, and she was able to keep the show on the rails despite the many times it appeared to be on the verge of toppling over. But the unfortunate truth is that for a good third of this show the hecklers were getting in as many laughs as Butler, if not more, and if she managed to end on a serviceable note it's still hard to say the performance was a success.

★½