Cinderella

Synopsis

ACT I

Scene 1

Cinderella is working hard while her Stepmother and Stepsisters are preparing for a magnificent ball given by the prince of the land.

Cinderella’s Father has fallen on hard times. He likes to drink with his friends, which makes Cinderella’s Stepmother angry. She becomes even more furious when she sees Cinderella taking a portrait of her dead mother from its hiding place. She destroys the portrait and, along with Cinderella’s Stepsisters, upbraids the poor girl cruelly.

A dance teacher visits to teach the Stepmother and Stepsisters graceful steps, and hairdressers arrive to give them splendid styles and help them on with their finery. Only Cinderella is left out, and when the Stepmother and Stepsisters set off, she is disconsolate. She takes solace in her dreams, imagining she is dancing at the ball.

The Fairy Godmother sees her sorrow and takes pity on her. Eccentrically disguised and accompanied by celestial bodies – sun, moon, planets, stars – she visits Cinderella and transforms her rags into a sumptuous ball gown. Before the planets transport her to the ball, the Fairy Godmother warns her not to lose track of time – at midnight, the magic will vanish.

ACT II

Scene 1

The Prince’s ball is in full swing, and the whole court is trying to win his eye, particularly the Stepmother and her daughters. But when Cinderella arrives and encounters the Prince it is love at first sight for both of them. The court looks on jealously, and all the ladies rush off to dress themselves like Cinderella. The Stepmother and Stepsisters also hasten to change their clothes, but they’re a step behind the fashion.

As the night progresses, the Prince is captivated by Cinderella, and their love blossoms, despite the Stepmother and her daughters’ best efforts to win his attention. In her ecstasy, Cinderella forgets The Fairy Godmother’s warning. When midnight strikes and time again intrudes, she runs from the ballroom, leaving her slipper behind.

ACT III

Scene 1

The Prince is desperate to find his vanished love, and has a succession of women come to his palace to try on Cinderella’s slipper. When it fits none of them, he sets out to travel the world in search of her, visiting many lands and encountering many temptations. However, he can’t forget Cinderella and returns to his kingdom determined to search every corner of it, although he is fast losing hope.

Scene 2

Cinderella, returned to her workaday life, treasures her memories of the enchanted night with the Prince, but holds little hope of seeing him again. The Stepsisters, on the other hand, think they have made a great hit with the Prince, and each dreams excitedly of marrying him. As part of his search, the Prince comes to visit them. The Stepmother and the Stepsisters try on the slipper, but their feet are too big for it. Only Cinderella’s foot fits it, and the Prince realises she is his love. They are reunited, and embark on their lives together.

CREDITS

Choreography Alexei Ratmansky
Music Sergei Prokofiev
Set and costume design Jérôme Kaplan
Original lighting design Rachel Burke
reproduced by Graham Silver
Projection design Wendall K. Harrington