Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Review:
***** 5 Stars
“a true testament to the physical form of humanity”
Sir Matthew Bourne returns to Edinburgh’s Festival theatre with a brand-new production of his 1997 hit “Cinderella” transposing the fairy tale story to 1940’s London in the depths of the Blitz.
This production is without a shadow of a doubt a true testament the physical form of humanity embracing the very special skills of Bourne as he melds the classic Ballet form with fresh inventive modern interpretive dance and he pays homage to the 1946 Bolshoi original by using the Prokofiev suite in a sumptuous new 82 strong orchestral arrangement.
The story of Cinderella is timeless but in Bourne’s world instead of prince charming, Harry the Pilot, (Andrew Monaghan) sweeps Cinders (Ashley Shaw) who dances with deft of grace defying her years off her feet. As she battles an uncaring and unloving family of Step Sisters, not quite so ugly in this production and step brothers she is aided by The Angel, (Liam Mower) in perhaps the greatest form of his professional life as he dances with incredible flexibility that’s beguiling to watch.
Where this production truly succeeds is in its examination of love that goes further than traditional ballet can with the inclusion of a same sex couple that is delivered with touching tenderness that make the 1940’s setting that little more capturing as we all know being out and gay in the 40’s was a far-off dream but love always does win through as it always will for Cinderella.
The love story blends together touching emotion and moments of sparkling comedy to form a fully rounded dance piece over three acts that simply flies by and leaves the audience wanting so much more from the cast as the strains of Glenn Miller kick in for the curtain call, you simply don’t want this productions curtain to fall.
Bourne’s New Adventures push the boundaries of Ballet with such expert execution that it becomes something so much more and can only be described as Bourneography blending together the discipline and precision of ballet with the sheer joy of modern dance. Its that principal that makes this Cinderella endlessly watchable and engaging.
The technical elements of this production are to be commended with a Set and costume design from Les Brotherston that takes the audience in to the war years but by using shades of black, white and grey also adds a deep sense of the British pathe news reel that adds an incredible dimension to the over all production. Couple this with a complete surround sound design by Paul Groothuis, the audience are transported for two and half glorious hours into London of the war years and a production of pure beauty and stunning physicality that touches the soul. Truly unmissable!
New Adventures presents, “Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella”, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Run until Saturday 9th June. UK tour continues