The Opera Australia/John Frost production of Cinderella opened in Melbourne last week, and what a wonderful musical it is!
This is the version by Rodgers and Hammerstein that was originally written for a 1957 TV show starring Julie Andrews, but it has been given a clever modern adaptation by Douglas Carter Beane.
Modern but not post-modern. The show is still firmly planted in storybook time, with gorgeous sets and costumes all cheerfully evoking Ye-Olden days (Henry VIII Renaissance England, was my impression). Even the musical score is wittily inflected with folk dance tunes. The stage is a joy to behold, a harmonious palette of colours. The story and script are genuinely funny, with a sweetly stupid Prince Topher (Ainsley Melham), a gleefully horrid Madame (Stepmother) (Tina Bursill) and a Cinderella (Shubshri Kandiah) with leadership potential. The choreography (by Josh Rhodes) is utterly apt and precisely and robustly performed by the ensemble. Seeing this Cinderella so soon after the election made the show all the more timely. Highly recommended.
- KAREN VAN ULZEN
All photos by Jeff Busby.
'Cinderella' moves to Sydney from October 23.