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Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

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ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/29/09
Matthew Bourne's Cinderella#1
Posted: 12/20/10 at 6:09pm
Just booked tickets for this at the Bristol Hippodrome next year, has anyone seen the current production at Sadler's Wells?
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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Matthew Bourne's Cinderella#2
Posted: 12/20/10 at 7:17pm
Its the only one of his Ive yet to see but I'm constantly told it is his weakest work!
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luke-h***
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joined:4/4/06
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Matthew Bourne's Cinderella#2
Posted: 12/21/10 at 4:38pm
I do want to see this very much, but I've also heard it's his weakest. The idea of Cinderella in the Blitz just kind of seems a bit gimmicky, a little irrelevant perhaps. Besides, Sir Frederick Ashton's version is the original and very difficult to rival.
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Matthew Bourne's Cinderella#3
Posted: 12/22/10 at 2:24am
Saw this last night. The Blitz period setting works quite well, and it is very much a new and in many ways more grounded take on the story. I wouldn't have minded if it was 30 minutes shorter (acts one and two drag), but I liked the concept and storytelling quite a bit.
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ClapYo'Hands
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joined:11/29/09
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Matthew Bourne's Cinderella#4
Posted: 5/18/11 at 7:21am
I saw this last night, and all I can say is...wow! In summary:

I should know better than to be surprised at the brilliance of Bourne's work by now, but it still gets me everytime.

Clearly, most of the money spent on this production has gone on Lez Brotherston's astounding set. Most of the piece is based around a static set, a blitz-torn street in London. From this set, however, comes Cinderella's house and the Café de Paris amongst other things. Clearly, he's saved money by having a small ensemble (a dozen people at the most) and no live music (something I still have issues with).

That isn't to say the ensemble weren't good, they were brilliant. Admittedly, they could have been a little tighter to achieve perfection, but they all had a great sense of character (something that separates Bourne's work from traditional ballet) and the leads were astounding. One particular highlight was Madelaine Brennan as Sybil, the stepmother (last seen in the UK tour of Bourne's Swan Lake as the Queen) who gives a wonderfully evil and comic performance, really owning the stage whenever she's on it.

Sam Archer and Kerry Biggin also gave wonderfully desperate performances as the two lovers, Cinderella and Harry and Christopher Marney was incredibly mysterious as The Angel.

Prokofiev's score is, in my opinion, one of the greatest composed for the theatre. Unlike other classical Russian ballet scores (Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, for example) Prokofiev's is not really thematic. Whereas traditional scores really embed a feeling in the mind's of the audience by the repition of primary and secondary themes, Prokofiev's score really is through-composed, with different feelings created by different movements and a sometimes very modern approach to the music for his time. The music of the opening theme, for example, changing between major and minor chords, creating a mysterious, almost modal melody perfect for setting the scene.

Bourne's newest production does what Bourne does best - really tells the story. And there are few places where the telling of the story could be improved (the only one I can think of is the need to make a little more of the transformation). The audience are absorbed in the story of these lovers and the world of War around them, and nothing serves as a barrier of that. The music and the dance support each other to heighten the emotion of this most primitive, yet most effective of tales.

This is the first time I've felt the need to give a ".5" rating, but it has to be:

4.5*
Updated On: 5/18/11 at 07:21 AM