Review: Cinderella by Northern Ballet at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

David Nixon’s interpretation for Northern Ballet of one of the world’s most widely known stories is psychologically acute and full of surprises.

It begins with the accidental death of Cinderella’s father. From this tragic event everything develops. The cruelty of Cinderella’s stepmother is rooted in grief. The two step-sisters are generous-hearted, but their mother insists on them colluding with her cruelty.

Cinderella has to find the strength to resist. She is aided by a magician. The prince is captivated by her at the ball, but completely dismissive when he discovers that she is no more than a servant in her own house.

Cinderella becomes a figure of independence and integrity. The prince has to overcome his own snobbery before she’ll accept him. Their final dance, languidly and beautifully performed, is a statement of their equality. Every movement, gesture and expression contributes to the story-telling. The magic is spellbindingly convincing. The music, sets and lighting are expressive and fluid – helping to create a sense of anticipation and excitement. The individual dances are varied and inventively performed. Every detail contributes to the whole. This is a fairy story for adults, but is also eminently suitable for older children.

Cinderella is at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, until Saturday, November 29.