Theatre Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet’s CINDERELLA – The Lowry, Salford

Birmingham Royal Ballet's CINDERELLA

Birmingham Royal Ballet elevate the story of CINDERELLA to a whole new level in their latest touring production

Pretty much everyone knows the story of CINDERELLA. From ballet and opera, to film and panto, the famous fairytale has been reimagined in a thousand ways. But just when you think you’ve seen it all before, Birmingham Royal Ballet elevate the story to a whole new level in their latest touring production.

CINDERELLA tells the story of a beautiful young girl who finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters following the unexpected death of her father. When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, Cinderella gets some unexpected help from her Fairy Godmother and some lovable woodland friends. As lizards, mice and frogs turn into footmen and pumpkins turn into sparkling carriages, CINDERELLA’s dream comes true before our very eyes and a jewelled slipper changes one girl’s life forever.

With its ravishing costumes, stunning sets, beautiful music and sensational choreography, David Bintley’s enchanting adaption of CINDERELLA is a glorious celebration of ballet that sweeps you off your feet. Every inch of this production is a visual treat for the eyes and ears with John Macfarlane’s breath-taking sets and stunning costume design standing out in particular for their sheer beauty. From the dark opening which is played out in silhouette, to the dazzling ending in which the two young lovers walk into the dawn of a new day, the transformation between scenes is simply stunning and David A. Finn’s innovative lighting design only adds to the magic.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's CINDERELLA

The four seasons are captured by delicate solo variations by Miki Mizutani, Celine Gittens, Maureya Lebowitz and Delia Mathews. Bintley’s choreography carries the dancers through complex routines of leaps, spins and dazzling lifts, as the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Philip Ellis, offer a soft, dreamy interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev’s original score.

Jenna Roberts delivers a stunning performance in the title role, registering every emotional nuance of the abused and mistreated young girl who dreams of escaping. Her pas de deux with William Bracewell as her dashing young prince – who equally enchants with his unflustered charm – is lighter than air and dizzingly romantic.

Elsewhere, Samara Downs and Laura Purkiss deliver stand-out comic performances as the evil stepsisters Skinny and Dumpy and their scene-stealing dances at the ball are laugh-out-loud funny.

With its wonderful dance routines and spectacular scenery, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of CINDERELLA is a sparkling version of the traditional tale. For two and a half hour hours, you really feel as though you have stepped right into the heart a romantic fairytale.

4 out of 5 stars

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s CINDERELLA runs at The Lowry until 4 March 2017