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Matthew Bourne’s ballet, “Cinderella” is currently playing at the WMC until 7th April.
It provides a scintillating experience of creative development of a familiar story. Set in the London Blitz of WW2, this is not a gimmick, but a version that works on every level.
Cinderella is pretty much as you would expect, wicked step-sisters in tow, but there is no Fairy Godmother. Instead you have a male character called The Angel who guides Cinderella for good and bad in order that she fulfills her destiny.
Instead of a handsome prince, you have Harry the Pilot. The RAF, recent victors in spoiling the Luftwaffe’s attempt to pave the way for the Nazi invasion of Britain, were the glamour boys of the Armed Forces. Actually. they were known as The Brylcreem Boys due to the way they used the cream to obtain a smooth look with hair in total control.
The Ball scene, is re-invented in the real life venue of the Cafe de Paris, which was a venue where chic young people met and danced the night away, irrespective of whether there was a air-raid being enacted overhead. On the 8th March 1941, the club received a direct hit, killing and wounding over a hundred people.
The dancing is as polished as you would expect from a Matthew Bourne work. He is the director and choreographer and together with his lighting designer Neil Austin and set and costume designer Lez Brotherston, conjour up a magical two and a half hour show of countless memorable visual delights.
Music is recorded, but played by a specially commissioned orchestra, over 80-strong, named the Cinderella Orchestra, and it is played in Sensurround which makes you feel that they are present.
Prokofiev’s music is delightful and all the sums add up to a wonderful work of creativity.
Irrespective of whether you like ballet or classical music, there is enough theatricality in this show to last you a very long time, and I unreservedly recommend it.
For tickets and schedule:-
Suitability – all although under 2’s are not welcome it seems.
Running time: Two and a half hours including two intervals.
End time: approx 10 p.m.