Dance devotees can look forward to a dark reimagining of a classic fairy tale when Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company brings his evocative Cinderella to Milton Keynes Theatre, writes Georgina Butler.
Set in London during the Second World War, Bourne’s thrilling interpretation of the narrative does not involve a prince, a fairy godmother or a royal ball.
Instead, there is a wounded young RAF pilot who enjoys a chance encounter with a downtrodden scullery maid. The couple spend just enough time together to fall head over heels in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.
Never one to follow convention, Bourne drops a mysterious male figure – a silver-suited angel – into the thick of things in his version to take the place of the fairy godmother.
Meanwhile, the location in which the transformed Cinderella and her ‘prince’ get together is the sumptuous Café de Paris nightclub. Their rendezvous occurs on the evening the venue is bombed by a German air raid (a devastating incident that tragically happened in 1941 in real life too).
Bourne’s Cinderella premiered in the West End in 1997, was heavily reworked in 2010 and has been revived as part of the 2017/18 season to round off New Adventures’ 30th anniversary celebrations.
The production features Olivier Award-winning costumes and sets by designer Lez Brotherston, Bourne’s regular collaborator.
All the inventive dance action is performed to Prokofiev’s magnificent score, which was written around the time of the Second World War. The music is supplied in surround sound through a specially commissioned recording played by a 60-piece orchestra.
New Adventures’ most recent previous visit to Milton Keynes Theatre saw them present Bourne’s mesmerising adaptation of The Red Shoes in February 2017.
The cast for Cinderella is led by Cordelia Braithwaite and Ashley Shaw alternating the title role. Both dancers triumphed playing ballerina Victoria Page in The Red Shoes, so audiences should expect to be impressed by their portrayals of 'Cinderella'.
Cinderella’s heroic pilot, 'Harry', will be performed by Will Bozier, Andrew Monaghan and Dominic North.
‘The Angel’ (Cinderella’s ‘Fairy Godfather’) will be danced by Paris Fitzpatrick and Liam Mower.
‘Sybil’, Cinderella’s Step Mother is performed by Madelaine Brennan and Anjali Mehra, while Alan Vincent and Dan Wright take on the role of ‘Robert’, Cinderella’s Father.
Cinderella’s Step Brothers and Sisters and the people of 1940s London complete the cast: Steph Billers; João Carolino; Reece Causton; Jackson Fisch; Glenn Graham; Sophia Hurdley; Jack Jones; Nicole Kabera; Kate Lyons; Jamie McDonald; Stephen Murray (Former Central School of Ballet/New Adventures Student Associate), Danny Reubens; Katie Webb and Seren Williams.
Expect Bourne’s usual brilliance as a true wartime romance develops in dazzling style!
Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday (Feb 13) until Saturday (Feb 17).
To book click here
For more dance and theatre news, reviews, features and interviews by Georgina, visit http://georginabutler.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @GeorginaLButler and Instagram @glbdancewriter
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