Sisters are indeed doing it for themselves in Sale this Christmas when the previously unloved and ill-fated Ugly Sisters come to Waterside to sing some songs, right some wrongs and tell it how it is in this brand new musical play, The Not So Ugly Sisters, inspired by everybody’s favourite fairy tale – Cinderella.

Presented by award-winning children’s theatre makers, Wrongsemble in a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Red Ladder, The Not So Ugly Sisters is a funny, fast-paced family show where the action centres around Dolly and Barb in their hairdressing salon on the day of their sister Cindy’s wedding to Prince Smarming.

Thinking that they have not been invited to the so-called event of the year, the sisters gather to share their story and wash their woes right out of their hair. With the salon phone only ringing for customers to cancel their blow-dry appointments, it is time for the sisters to tell the much-loved story from their perspective. Hell hath no fury like a hairdresser scorned!

Running at just under an hour with no interval and jam-packed with up-tempo original songs, puppetry and many funky moves – Not So Ugly Sisters is the perfect festive treat for small people and their grown ups with a good laugh and a family outing being the perfect way to end a challenging year for all.

Waterside is also delighted to announce a series of other festival treats, kicking off on Sunday 7 November with Ballet Theatre UK’s beautiful re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson’s classical fairy tale ballet, The Snow Queen. Ballet Theatre UK’s renowned company of international dancers, beautiful costumes and glittering stage sets combine to create a magnificent spectacle, all set to a glorious and magical score.

For even littler people, Lyngo Theatre presents Little Red Riding Hood from Mon 13 – Fri 17 December. Recommended for ages 3-7, this is theatrical gem of a show, complete with a magical wardrobe, a snowy wild wood, animal puppets hiding in trees and lots of catchy songs.

Older kids can hunker down at Waterside for the eerily beautiful retelling of everybody’s favourite festive ghost story – A Christmas Carol on Friday 17 December. Aimed at ages 11 and over, this Christmas tale is brought to life while the ghosts of Christmas return from the dead through the magical art of storytelling – presented by The Book of Darkness & Light in association with Little Mighty.

Comedy lovers are in for a treat with not one but three great chances to laugh out loud this Christmas. Waterside’s legendary monthly comedy night – Best of Buzz Comedy – brings the great talents of Sam Avery, Bobby Murdock and Brummie funny man and compere Ryan Gough together for one night of hilarity for adults on Saturday 4 December. Waterside also presents the much loved ComedySportz improv comedy stalwarts in their annual adult panto which is created completely by scratch and on the spot in front of a live audience on Friday 17 December; whilst on Friday 10 and on Saturday 11 December – younger audiences are invited to come along and help make up their own family friendly version of the improv panto with the ComedySportz teams! Kids can expect quick-witted gags, games, panto dames and lots of silliness whilst the adults get a bawdier version of the same with addition of rude words and even more innuendo. Oh No It isn’t… Oh yes it is!

Rounding off Waterside’s programme of festive delights is a one off musical gig with Belshazzar’s Feast.  Made up of Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Pagoda Project) – together they have become one of the best-loved duos in folk music today and previous BBC Folk Awards Best Duo nominees. Join them on Thursday 16 December as they bring their celebrated Christmas show to Trafford, mixing traditional folk music and seasonal material, stirring in classical, pop and music hall, all topped off with audience participation and lashings of wry humour that has won them fans across the world.

Manager of Waterside Darren Adams says, “After another challenging year for the arts and artists alike, it is so great to end on a cultural high with so many great shows and companies joining us at Waterside this Christmas. From live ballet to comedy and from theatre to folk – there really is something for all ages and tastes. It was so fantastic to see families and grown ups alike out enjoying the arts together once more this summer at our annual Refract Festival and we cannot wait to welcome more through our doors once again over the festive season.”

Elvi Piper, Artistic Director at Wrongsemble comments, “We are thrilled to bring The Not So Ugly Sisters to the brilliant Waterside this festive season. We’ve been waiting for two years to entertain the good people of Manchester with this ultimate family feel-good festive feast of a show – which has something in it for everyone! Live theatre is well and truly back with a fairytale bang and we can’t wait to get started.”

The Not So Ugly Sisters runs at Waterside from Wednesday 24 November 2021 – Saturday 1 January 2022. 

Tickets are on sale now and available here.


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