My First Cinderella at the Peacock Theatre
My First Cinderella is an effort from the English National Ballet to create a “family friendly” ballet. Following in the footsteps of the first of the series, My First Sleeping Beauty, the production’s themes, choreography and story have all been simplified for a younger audience. English National Ballet’s Associate Artist, George Williamson uses a bolder, less subtle style to ensure that dancer’s movements are more palatable to a less experienced crowd. An audio narrative runs alongside the action onstage, ensuring that the story is accessible, even if one gets caught up in the dance.
My First Cinderella is squarely and unashamedly aimed at the very young. The target audience is aged between 3 and 10 years, so it may seem a little unsophisticated to children any older, which is not a fault but certainly worth noting. Predictably, given the audience are of a very young age, theatre etiquette is virtually non-existent.
The music of Sergei Prokofiev remains a pleasure to experience, and the production’s decision to retain his original score proves excellent.
The ENB make a clever move opting to recreate well-known fairytales: often Disneyfied, there is a pre-existing familiarity with the stories that allows the young audience to engage on a more personal level.
My First Cinderella has all the components necessary to please children: big, bold dance performed expertly by graduates of the ENB School, lavish costumes and magical music. The suitability of its running time is perhaps questionable. For a production that is aimed at children of such a young age, 90 minutes may seem a little long, and after the interval restlessness is sure to become a big problem.
My First Cinderella is on at the Peacock Theatre from 30th March until April 7th 2013, for further information or to book visit here.