Cinderella review at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘Simply sublime’
Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella, choreographed to Prokofiev’s score, remains a sumptuous seasonal delight in Scottish Ballet’s revival of its 2015 production.
Hampson uses a rose motif to find a fresh path through the old story. Cinderella plants a rose on her mother’s grave during the sombre introduction. It grows tall on Tracy Grant Lord’s trellis-like set before the opening scene and its arbour is the venue for Cinderella’s transformative encounter with her fairy godmother.
A bejewelled rose is also the token by which the prince recognises her after the ball, when all hopes are crushed, along with the glass slippers on an Ugly’s foot.
Sophie Martin is an expressive and complex Cinderella. Her early solos, particularly her dance of the shawl, are sketches for the athleticism and strength of her performances of the formal duets with Barnaby Rook-Bishop’s rather grandiose Prince at the ball.
There is plenty of characterisation and business for her step-sisters. Grace Horler’s Tall is vicious in belittling Cinderella, while Kayla-Maree Tarantolo’s Small is kinder and constantly attempting to hold out a helping hand. Their relationships with the Prince’s friends (Evan Loudon and Thomas Edwards) as dancing partners at the ball creates a whole new strand of entertainment.
It is a production full of detail to keep it fresh. Lord’s costumes are a delight and the dance-class scene is packed with business. The ballerinas of the corps de ballet are simply sublime in the rose arbour.
The orchestra, conducted by Jean-Claude Picard, captures both the delicacy of the opening scenes and insects’ variations in the rose arbour, as well as the full lush orchestration that accompanies Cinderella and the Prince’s scenes together.