14 November 2019

Northern Ballet's Cinderella - Theatre Royal

Anyone who is an avid theatre goer is usually a bit partial to a traditional story being reinterpreted, and the Northern Ballet's Cinderella manages to create a magical twist on the classic fairytale.  Directed and choreographed by David Nixon, the show has a Russian theme and expertly highlights the key themes - a lonely woman desperate to be loved, being cruel doesn't pay and there is strength in kindness. 

Northern Ballet Cinderella
Cinderella is at Theatre Royal until Saturday 17th November
The show is split into two acts, and we first meet young Cinderella (Rachel Gillespie) and her family in the countryside outside Moscow. Tragedy strikes as her father is shot, which paves the way for the Wicked Stepmother (the excellent Sarah Chun) to turn Cinders into her servant and for cruelty from her stepsisters Natasha Kyungka Kwak) and Sophia (Adam Miyata). I particularly enjoyed a scene where the circus comes to the winter market, and dancers become stilt walkers, magicians, acrobats and jugglers (watch out for the cute animal) I also liked the fact that that the fairy godmother in this production is a male magician (the very elegant Mlindi Kulashe). There's a glimpse of kindness from the stepsisters but the Stepmother steps in and rejects Cinderella (Abigail Prudames) again. 

Cinderella Theatre Royal
The Winter Ball
The action then moves to a crystal lake where she meets the Prince (Matthew Koon). Cinders returns home to find she has been invited to the Winter Ball, but we all know what happens to the invite. Luckily the magician helps her to have her wish and attend the ball. In Act II we see the splendour of the Winter Ball, Cinders resplendent in her shimmering gown and glass slippers as she meets the Prince but of course their time together is limited. We accompany the Prince to visit the drawing room, the kitchen and the crystal lake in his attempts to find the owner of the glass slipper that was left behind. The magician works his magic again to ensure a happy ending. 

I was really impressed by the main characters and the quality of the dancing, especially the duets (the final duet between the Prince and Cinderella was really beautiful). Hats off to the set design team who did an excellent job creating stunning backdrops and a magical set (I was really impressed when the oven became the carriage). The Northern Ballet Sinfonia played a big part in the magic with their masterful interpretation of Philip Feeney's moving score. The costumes were also a tour de force. 

Highly recommend the show to anyone wanting to escape the doom and gloom of the news, the bad weather and who could do with a sprinkling of magic right now. 

Cinderella is at Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 12 - Sat 16 Nov 2019 playing evenings
at 7.30pm and matinees Thu (2pm) and Sat (2.30pm).

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