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Princess Peach: Showtime review – a paper-thin performance

Nintendo Switch; Good Feel/Nintendo
Kids will enjoy the pomp and colour, but Princess Peach’s long-awaited star turn is disappointingly shallow

The ending of 1985’s Super Mario Bros, soundtracked by the iconic bleeps and blips of the 8-bit NES, has Mario finally finding the princess, who has been in another castle for the whole game. As the moustachioed hero leaps to her side, a text bubble reveals the name of our digitised damsel in distress: Princess Peach. She gives her thanks, the credits roll, and we bid her farewell.

As you’ll know if you watched Anna Taylor-Joy’s performance in last year’s Mario movie, the Mushroom Kingdom’s monarch is rather less one-dimensional these days – as you’d hope, given how video games and feminism have progressed over the past 40 years. But this is only the second game in which she has had a starring role, the first since 2005’s DS game Super Princess Peach. Showtime puts Nintendo’s pink princess literally in the spotlight, as a trip to the theatre goes awry and she must take to the stage to save the dramatic arts from … evil grapes?

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