When bestowing five stars upon a show, I usually ask myself two questions: did I want it to end, and would I watch it again? With regards to Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella, the answers are a resounding “no” and “yes”, in that order.
Scottish Ballet: Cinderella | Rating: ***** | Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Somehow, despite this tale being so well-loved (and therefore a little well-worn), Hampson has injected a freshness – yet lost none of the traditional charm that pulls in the Christmas ballet crowds.
Cinderella’s journey from grief-stricken daughter who misses her mum to mature woman embracing the man she loves lies at the heart of this production. We feel her loss, watch her try to find joy in the little things, then rejoice as she falls in love with a prince who she rescues as much as he does her.
Originally created for Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2007, Hampson has re-moulded the characters to fit Scottish Ballet perfectly.
Eve Mutso and Sophie Martin are hilarious as the Step-Sisters, giving the siblings a pantomime slapstick quality. Bethany Kingsley-Garner in the title role has a gentle grace which invites our empathy, and the supporting cast (which includes a grasshopper, silk moths and beautiful dancing roses) create superb ensemble moments.
Hampson’s choreography never ceases to entertain, whether it’s a big showy number at the ball, a romantic pas de deux or a comic turn. The Scottish Ballet Orchestra does Prokofiev proud, and Tracy Grant Lord’s magnificent set and costume designs are a source of constant delight.