REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Emma Lee gives her verdict on Matthew Bourne's Cinderella at Norwich Theatre Royal

Coming from the man famous for his Swan Lake with a menacing, shaven headed all-male company of swans, you would expect that a fairy story brought to you by acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne would have a twist in the tale

And indeed his Cinderella, which began a sold-out run at Norwich Theatre Royal last night, certainly turns the story you think you know so well on its head.

When you go and see a Matthew Bourne production - and they're wildly popular on their visits to the city - you know that you're going to see dance in its most inventive and exciting form.

Set against Prokofiev's classic score poor Cinders (Noi Tolmer) is transported to Blitz-ravaged London, where she meets loses and meets her Prince Charming, Harry, the Pilot (Neil Westmoreland), in an epic chase across the capital. Luckily she has The Angel (Christopher Marney) to guide her.

As ever Bourne creates some fabulously grotesque characters.

You really have to stop yourself booing and hissing Sybil, the Step-Mother, played by Madelaine Brennan.

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And a David Walliams Little Britain-esque Step-Brother with a shoe fetish is comedy gold.

The production feels very cinematic. Bourne wears references to Powell and Pressburger and Brief Encounter and the glamour of old Hollywood on his sleeve.

And award-winning designer Lez Brotherston's absolutely fantastic sets, from the first act where Cinderella lives her life in monochrome to a dazzling scene in which the bombed out Cafe de Paris is brought magnificently back to life give the production real verve as the reality of the horror of war and her dreams collide head on.

You'll leave believing in happy ever afters. Another triumph.

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, March 26. Returns only. Box office: 01603 630000.

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