City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Cinderella, Festival Theatre, Review


By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 14 January 2011

5
Cinderella, Scottish Ballet (credit Andrew Ross)
Show Details
Company: 
Scottish Ballet
Production: 
Ashley Page (artistic director, choreographer), Antony McDonald (designer)
Performers: 
Sophie Martin (Cinderella), Adam Blyde (Prince), Vassillissa Levtonova (Godmother), Eve Mutso (step mother), Kara McLaughlin, Sophie Laplane (step sisters), Owen Thorne (father), William Smith (Dancing master). Dancers, Princesses, Ambassadors, Chevaliers, and other cast by the Scottish Ballet company. Scottish Ballet Orchestra - Conductor, Richard Honner.
Running time: 
155mins

This is a revival of Scottish Ballet’s sparkling production, (premiered in 2005) which spruces up the nursery story with a flamboyant, fashionable makeover by artistic director Ashley Page and designer Antony McDonald.

As the overture plays, a large picture of a gold silk brocade shoe on the stage curtain denotes not only Cinderella’s lost slipper but the elegant 18th century period setting. The dress code of corsets, bustle gowns, powdered wigs, sequined frocks and frock coats is given a modern twist with gorgeous costumes inspired by Vivienne Westwood and Diane von Furstenberg; every guest wants to be the designer-dressed belle of the Prince’s Ball.

The narrative is neatly told through gesture, mime, music and dance as we meet poor wee Cinderella, teased and taunted by her stepmother and step sisters. Her dysfunctional family is depicted as grotesque, vain, selfish creatures, dressed in orange, lime green and purple, sexy black lace and pink tinted beehive hair – outrageous women behaving very badly. But these moments of pantomimic slapstick are played with style and character and do not detract from the classic ballet’s emotional heart.

Quick changing scenes take us from the drawing room and kitchen, to the secret garden and Royal court ballroom through a magical journey of space and time with a flick of Fairy Godmother’s wand, a huge pumpkin and a flying hot air balloon. Choreography throughout is fluid, flowing and fun with delightful mannerisms from the Dancing Master (in his pink-lined leopard print coat), youthful joy depicted by Spring, and perfect poise in the Godmother’s star turn.

The melodious, majestic Prokofiev music is performed with gentle pace and fiery passion by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. The rich romantic score is a complex blend of fairy-tale charm, catchy tunes and Ballroom waltzes as well a darker, sinister tone to capture the dramatic mood of the story.  The Midnight scene is musically electric with heightened tempo and clanging bells as the clock strikes 12 when Cinderella takes flight.

In the early scenes Sophie Martin in the leading role captures a childlike, waifish innocence as she dances solo, barefoot, in the empty kitchen but then she matures into a young lady in diamante white dress, dancing gracefully en pointe in her new ballet shoes.

The entire company perform with vivacious wit and burlesque theatricality in this glittering, deliciously camp show – perfect entertainment for the bleak, dark days after New Year.

Showtimes

  • 12 - 15 January, 2011: Edinburgh Festival Theatre
  • 19 -22 January, 2011: HIs Majesty's Aberdeen
  • 26 - 29 January, 2011: Eden Court, Inverness
  • 2 - 5 February, 2011: Grand Opera, Belfast