25-28 January 2017
Reviewed by Sally Carter
I have never been to the ballet before now and I can honestly say I was completely mesmerised by the whole thing; From the simple, yet clever scenery to the beautiful costumes, from the amazing choreography to Prokofiev’s stirring and emotive music! It was an absolute feast for the senses and a thoroughly enjoyable experience I would recommend to all.
As a ballet in 3 Acts, there were 2 intervals, making the total performance time over two and a half hours, however, the time really did fly by, as magically as Cinderella’s transformation. There was quite a mix of ages in the audience, however I don’t think I saw many, if any, children under approximately 7 years of age. I certainly don’t think my two young girls could have sat still and quiet enough to remain focused and enjoyed the whole performance.
As someone who is more of a musical theatre fan, used to having every element of the story sung about, I had wondered just how ‘easy’ the story of a ballet would be to understand, but I need not have worried at all. Being Cinderella meant that I already knew the story (I don’t mean the “Disney” version) however, I really don’t think that was important. The wonderful choreography of David Bintley was so vivid and expressive that the storytelling was very clear indeed. The story was told with humour and emotion. The casting worked well and I particularly enjoyed the performances of “Skinny” & “Dumpy”, the stepsisters played by Samara Downs and Laura Purkiss respectively and of course the wonderful talent of principal dancer, Momoko Hirata as “Cinderella”.
We sat in the middle of the lower circle and we’re perfectly positioned to see everything and I was in complete awe of the music, costumes and dancing. The Birmingham Royal Ballet are accompanied by the “Royal Ballet Sinfonia” and their conductor Koen Kessells, who joined the company on stage at the end.
As usual the Mayflower staff were friendly and polite whilst ensuring that everything still ran to schedule. Refreshments were available during both intervals & the theatre, as ever was clean and tidy.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of the ballet and would recommend “Cinderella” and The Birmingham Royal Ballet to all theatre lovers.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet production of Cinderella is on tour until 18 March 2017. For more information, tour dates or to book tickets visit www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/cinderella.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811