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Review: Scottish Ballet Returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal with Cinders!

Review: Scottish Ballet Returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal with Cinders! Images © Andy Ross
What's on
February 2024
Reading time 3 Minutes

The classic story we all know returns with a charming twist in this playful production, where the audience only discover which Cinders they will experience when the curtain rises, and the performance begins

On some nights, Cinders will be a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders will be a man, swept off his feet by his Princess. Needless to say we were eager to find which was in store for us.

My companion for the evening is my very excited five-year-old daughter and our first stop is sweets and a programme before we head to our seats and study the Scottish Ballet Orchestra below. This is her first time at the ballet and she’s therefore full of questions: ‘who will be dancing and is that stage big enough? What will they be wearing? Is Cinders a boy or a girl?’

As the curtain rises she gets her answer, tonight we experience Cinders as a woman. While I was secretly hoping for the other scenario, the performance did not disappoint.

We’re introduced to Cinders and her parents in their family-run emporium, where life is sweet until tragedy strikes, leaving Cinders an orphan. Instead of the evil step mother and ugly sisters we all know, Cinders ends up living with the new proprietor of the family store. Enter Mrs Thorne, an intimidating mother of three ghastly children.  

As I marvelled at the Art Nouveau-inspired set my daughter was transported into an enchanting world of sensational costumes and exquisite choreography (by Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet’s artistic director and CEO). As the Royal Ball is announced, hilarity, excitement and chaos ensue as the Thorne family begin their frenzied preparations to attend. With their garish costumes, playful choreography and ability to fall so elegantly, the Thorne children stole the show. My daughter however was very much in favour of the empowered and resilient Cinders and of course her Prince, who displays a much more vulnerable and complex side to the traditionally stoic character.

As the story of Cinders and the Thornes comes to a close, it’s not just Cinders and her Prince that get their fairytale ending.

This fresh approach to such a well-known fairytale is not to be missed.

Cinders plays Newcastle Theatre Royal until Saturday 10th February 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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