Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Prokofiev wrote the score to Cinderella during the Second World War, premiered by the Bolshoi in 1946. Matthew Bourne was intrigued and inspired by this discovery, he explored the possibility of setting Cinderella during this period, saying “…it seemed to work so well in the wartime setting. Darkly romantic in tone, it speaks of a period of time when time was everything, love was found and lost suddenly and the world danced as if there was no tomorrow.”

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Cinderella in this setting made sense to me. I grew up with stories of London in the Blitz. My mother was a physiotherapist at The London Hospital in Whitechapel (now The Royal London Hospital) during the Second World War. Stories of leaving the hospital on nights off to dance and returning to find the walk ways to the hospital bombed and impassable; treating survivors after many were horrifically crushed to death attempting to enter Bethnal Green Tube Station during an air raid; her friend, never to love another, after her boyfriend was killed soon after signing up.

New Adventures‘ production of Cinderella is performed at Sadler’s Wells until 23rd January and then goes on tour.

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