Scottish Ballet’s festive favourite, Cinders returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal Wed 7 – Sat 10 Feb 2024 with a new name, glittering new designs, and a charming twist to the tale.

In a world first, this playful new production of Cinders will have a surprise in store each night for audiences as the curtain rises: on some nights, Cinders will be a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders will be a man, swept off his feet by his Princess! Audiences will only discover which Cinders they will experience when the curtain rises, and the performance begins.

“What I’ve found most interesting about swapping the roles of the Cinders lead dancers is just how different and new it’s made the ballet feel.” says Scottish Ballet Principal Dancer Bruno Michiardi. 

From Matthew Bourne’s all-male Swan Lake, right up to next year’s West End production of The Picture of Dorian Gray performed by Sarah Snook, breaking with tradition in theatre is fast becoming a tradition within itself.

Set at the turn of the 20th century in Cinders’ family-run emporium, life is sweet until tragedy strikes, leaving Cinders an orphan. Enter the new proprietor, Mrs Thorne, an intimidating mother of three ghastly children. Treating Cinders with contempt, they turn the store into a garish version of its former self.

The production of Scottish Ballet’s Cinders which is set in a draper’s store, will feature a brand-new, art-nouveau inspired set with exquisite details, and sumptuous, sparkling costume designs.

“We all know and love the classic story of Cinderella, but this new version means we’re suddenly working in this amazing upside-down realm, where the male part (previously a more traditionally stoic character) is a complex mixture of vulnerability and resilience, and the female role (usually quite timid and downtrodden for most of the original ballet) is empowered and full of charisma… I’m excited at the prospect of exploring this further and sharing that with the audience!” says Scottish Ballet Principal Dancer Bruno Michiardi.

Choreographed by Christopher Hampson (Scottish Ballet Artistic Director/CEO) who is “delighted to be bringing this fresh approach to such a well-known fairytale,” and designed by Elin Steele, with Prokofiev’s irresistibly rich score performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, Cinders will be everything audiences adore about the enchanted fairytale – made sparkling, fresh and new.

Guest Principal Dancer Jessica Fyfe explains: “Working with Christopher Hampson on his new Cinders for me personally has been very exhilarating. To give this new fluidity to the leading roles means exploring ways in which the character Cinders, traditionally the ‘poor’ Cinderella, can be a person of grit, determination and strength, which ultimately leads to them creating their own happy ending.”

“I hope the audience enjoys this new twist on a beautiful classic, which now highlights how anyone can have a hand at shaping their own future. It’s not just for fairytales,” she adds.

When the Royal Ball is announced, hilarity, excitement and chaos ensue as the Thorne family begin their frenzied preparations to attend. Taking refuge in an enchanted rose garden, Cinders is magically spun into a vision of sophistication and beauty, worthy of charming everyone at the ball. As the story of Cinders and the Thornes unfolds, who will get their fairytale ending?

Cinders plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Wed 7 – Sat 10 Feb 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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