Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella
Music by Prokofiev
The Lowry, 23 November 2010
Set during the London blitz, when death could fall from the sky as easily as song, this is a dark reimagining of the classic fairytale.
It begins with a pre-COI film which warns that the greatest danger of falling victim to a bomb is simply to stand, staring into the sky. But if an angel puts an hand on your shoulder, perhaps that’s what you are most wont to do.
Everything about this production enchants and delights: the set, the lighting, the costumes, the sound effects (bomb blasts and anti-air raid sirens, etc.) and above all, of course, the dancing. The middle section, set in a swish dive as bombs rain down overhead, is especially compelling. As a counterpoint to the dancing, we have a new character: a serviceman – apparently an airman – in a wheelchair.
There’s as well here a smidgeon of foot fetishism (with those slippers, what would you expect?) and a gay coupling (due no doubt to the plentiful supply of oversexed Yanks that Quentin Crisp raved about), alongside the main love story. Oh, and some fearsome men in gas masks.
This is a terrific production of Cinderella which delivers a strikingly new interpretation of Prokofiev’s score. However, it’s probably not suitable for children. So be warned.
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is appearing at The Lowry until 27 November. Further details are here.
And some UK tour dates are here.