★★★★ |Northern Ballet’s Cinderella
Northern Ballet continues to delight with a charming retelling of a classic fairy story. Cinderella leads a life of servitude to her wicked stepmother but escapes her life by sneaking out, where she encounters a magician who is more than meets the eye. When Cinderella is left home alone on the night of the Prince’s ball, the Magician appears to transform her into a princess; as she and the Prince meet and fall in love, the clock strikes twelve and Cinderella flees, leaving only a glass slipper behind.
Sometimes, such familiar stories can feel laboured and over-familiar but Northern Ballet injects new life into the traditional fairy tale by putting in enough fresh ideas to add something new, without ever detracting from the familiar narrative. Transporting the story to Russia whilst adding in an expanded narrative and a scattering of magic tricks and circus skills, the company presents something just a little different, but with its roots firmly planted in well-known story.
Mlindi Kulashe delighted the audience with a comedic performance as the magician, and Abigail Prudames charmed as the titular heroine; both of whom stood out from a company who gave universally solid performances.
Where Cinderella really succeeds is in its simplicity. The choreography is so clear in delivering the narrative, it allows you to simply sit back and enjoy the performances. There are sufficient magical moments to maintain its fairy tale status whilst allowing the dance to take centre stage, and the lavish new costumes, some new sets and the live orchestra only adds to the atmosphere of this production.
Whether you are looking for a family orientated evening at the theatre, or for something to start to get you in the festive mood, Cinderella is an engaging ballet which works its magic on you by radiating a feel-good warmth and familiarity.
Northern Ballet’s Cinderella is playing at Sheffield Theatres until 28th September 2019 before continuing on its national tour; whilst their production of Dracula will be beamed live into selected cinemas on Halloween