8-11 March 2017
Reviewed by Linda Pickford
I went to last night’s performance of the Birmingham Royal Ballet production of Cinderella with very mixed feelings. I have only been to one professional ballet performance before and that was over 30 years ago. Knowing the storyline, I thought I could just sit back and take it all in. I was enchanted from the very start.
The first act with Cinderella (Jenna Roberts) in her dismal below ground kitchen attending to the needs of her horrendous step-sisters was a delight. She managed to express her downtrodden life in every barefoot step. The entrance of the wicked stepmother was dramatic in her black satin dress and cane.
The receipt of invitations to the palace ball resulted in much needed help being summoned. A Dancing Master, Dressmaker and Wigmaker arrive. There follows an absolutely hilarious scene where the step-sisters are dressed into the most frightful ball gowns and then put through their paces by the dance master. Mathias Dingman is the Dance Master and also later dances as a friend of the Prince. He is extremely funny as is Jonathan Payn the Hairdresser, later the Major Domo at the ball.
The expected transformation of Cinderella into a beautiful princess by her Fairy Godmother is lovely but watch out for the brilliant Frogs and Lizards. They caused much amusement to the audience. Also, keep your eyes open for the coach build.
At the Palace Ball we are introduced to the Prince (William Bracewell). There are gorgeous costumes to admire and some impressive ballet. Although as a newbie I did find some of it a little repetitive. There was much to enjoy in the dancing involving Skinny and Dumpy (the step-sisters), especially when Dumpy chases after the cakes.
I had a lovely evening which was surprisingly funny but beautiful, a good first ballet to see. The principal dancers were excellent but the stars for me were Marion Tait as the evil stepmother, Samara Downs as Skinny and Laura Purkiss as Dumpy. They made their “bad dancing” a real joy to watch.
Make your way to the lovely Plymouth Theatre Royal and enjoy a great evening of dance and music. Parking is very easy to find and the staff are always welcoming. A real jewel in our local crown.
Tickets cost from £10 to £39 (booking fees may apply).
The Birmingham Royal Ballet production of Cinderella is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth until 11 March 2017. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222