Following the sold-out and critical success of The Red Shoes and Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures return to Birmingham Hippodrome with one of their most popular and beloved productions, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – a thrilling and evocative love story, set in London during the Second World War, which forms part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale has, at its heart, a true war-time romance and our old romantic, Lilith Hunt-Sheppard, went along to see the show for herself.
I became quite a fan of Matthew Bourne when I saw his adaptation of Swan Lake and was excited to see how the classic fairy tale of Cinderella translates to a war time romance.
This version of Cinderella is like none I have ever seen before. As the curtain comes up, you are thrown straight into a bomb raid, families huddled around the ‘wireless’ listening to air raid instructions. Fast forward slightly and we are in the family home. Returning as lead for this performance by New Adventures as Cinderella is Ashley Shaw, who dances beautifully throughout. Starting off as downtrodden Cinders, prince charming or Harry The Pilot, played by Andrew Monaghan quickly comes in to her life, much to the annoyance of her family.
One person that is always onside is ‘The Angel’ played by Liam Mower. I loved the subtleties in his choreography, playing people like a puppet. Glimmering in white and dancing beautifully, he offers every bit of hope to this adapted fairy-tale.
That brings me to the technical team, set designer Lez Brotherstone excels in this and takes you from ballroom to bombsite in an instant, maintaining the darkness of war throughout. The same can be said for the costume design too, who wouldn’t want to wear the beautiful, glimmering ball gown Cinderella wears to the ball.
The choreography and direction from Matthew Bourne is on point, there isn’t a single fault throughout and only makes me want to see more.
Cinderella, is by far, one of the most sinister ballets I have ever seen but is also one of the memorable, it’s one, everyone should see.
Cinderella is showing at Birmingham Hippodrome till Saturday 10th February, to book your tickets click HERE!