Cinderella set in Blitz-era London

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at The Lowry Theatre

THIS modern take on the Cinderella story was set in London during the Blitz. It began with a war film explaining how to cope in situations of bombing.

The show hints at Matthew Bourne’s love of classic films. The guiding light came from the 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death, which starred David Niven and Kim Hunter.

Cinderella was played by Ashley Shaw, who trained at the Marie Walton-Mahon dance academy in Newcastle. She made her debut in Swan Lake in 2009/2010.

She is a true leading lady. She took the audience on a journey from rags to riches. Her dancing was pure beauty. It was breathtaking to watch her.

Cinderella’s love interest was not a prince, but an injured pilot played by Will Bozier. The story of the pilot was never discovered, but I assumed he was shot down by an enemy bomb over London, during or around the time of the Blitz.

The pilot finds his way to the home of Cinderella and her unconventional family. She takes him in and nurses him. In this version of the story, Cinderella’s father is still alive, but is wheelchair-bound. Throughout the ballet, there is a flashback to how the wicked stepmother shot Cinderella’s father causing him to be in the wheelchair.

The stepmother was played by Anjali Mehra, who was in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams.

Liam Mower took on the role of the angel, this version's fairy godmother. This was no Disney performance though. The bombs felt real and balance of life and death was very adamant in the ballet.

Mower was the glue that linked the story together. He was orchestrating Cinderella’s movements in order for her to meet her happy ever after. EC

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