I recently had the absolute pleasure in seeing the Andrew Lloyd Webber recreation of ‘Cinderella‘, starring Carrie Hope Fletcher (Cinderella), Ivano Turco (Prince Sebastian) and many more fantastic and talented cast members, at the Gillian Lynne Theatre and wow, did it absolutely blow me away. I went in to this show with no expectations and no backstory of what I was about to witness – I was very much under the impression that this was going to be your typical retelling of Cinderella and was I most certainly proven wrong. I was enthralled the whole way through and in complete awe of the story in which Andrew Lloyd Webber had created, alongside other creative artists such as; Emerald Fennell (Book), David Zippel (Lyrics), Laurence Connor (Director), Joann M. Hunter (Choreographer) and many more. Being so lucky in having the opportunity to go and watch the show whilst away in London, I couldn’t possibly keep all of this joy to myself, so here are five reasons to go and book your tickets for Cinderella asap:
A MODERN RETELLING OF A CLASSIC FAIRYTALE
Over the years, there have been countless retellings of Cinderella, all told in their own unique ways. However, we haven’t had one so modern and up-to-date with today’s society… enter Andrew Lloyd Webber. Without saying too much, the latest take on Cinderella, takes an entirely new direction in the classic fairy-tale, from a bad Cinderella, to a whole new Prince. Whilst creating a version that portrays Cinderella like no other, the story still remains true to the original in some aspects, such as; the step-mother and two step-sisters, the fairy god-mother, a royal ball, etc. with a few added twists and turns. I love a good Cinderella retelling as much as the next person, no matter how repetitive it can become, however, this one has well and truly knocked it out of the park with originality and I can only wish that we are blessed with a proshot recording of this someday, or even for it to become a movie!
AN ENCHANTING SOUNDTRACK
The soundtrack to Cinderella is just absolutely magical – with it’s new edgy vibe, there will not be a single song that isn’t imprinted in to your mind after watching this show. From the sassy and powerful ‘Bad Cinderella’ to the beautiful ballads of ‘Only You, Lonely You‘ and ‘I Know I Have A Heart’ – this soundtrack is going to take you through a whirlwind of emotions. The lyrics are stunningly written, the perfect blend of tender and comedic, making it an enjoyable listen for all. My favourite songs of the show would definitely have to be; Bad Cinderella, So Long, Only You Lonely You and I Know I Have A Heart, however that being said, every song is a joyous moment in their own ways.
A STORYBOOK PRODUCTION
At first glance, the production of the set-up seemed rather limited and resembled a pantomime type of vibe, however, once the show had really begun, the stage was just as gorgeously put together, as the show itself, bringing the fairy-tale we all love to life. Whilst the production may have been less, compared to other west-end shows, there was no need for anything extravagant, as all eyes focused mainly on the talented cast in front of it all. I truly felt like I was in Belleville for the evening and what an adventure that was – it was a gloriously picturesque town, filled with glamorous townsfolk who wanted to accomplish nothing but perfection. The façade of perfection was a full time job and Cinderella was ready to demolish it all and reveal the ugliness hidden behind the beauty. The costume designs for all the characters were of high quality as well, with some of the most gorgeous dresses elegantly floating across the stage – it was all extremely swoon worthy.
AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE
The interactive experience comes from a unique twist on the stage itself, allowing the crowd to get a little more up close and personal with the cast. From where I was sat, this was really exciting to be a part of and a brilliant idea for those who aren’t sat front row. So, no matter where you happen to be sat when attending this show, you will be in for a little treat. People who do happen to be up front will receive a pre-warning about this as well, as if you are a little late returning from the interval… you may lose your seat for a chunk of the show!
PHENOMONAL AND DIVERSE CASTING
Now to the true stars of the show – the gorgeous and unbelievably talented cast! Cinderella is portrayed by Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays the role remarkably. The rebellious role could not have been more perfect for anybody else, as she embraces a reputation within Cinderella we have not had the pleasure of witnessing before. I found her whole performance to be outstanding and her vocals were breath-taking, filling the theatre with goose bumps upon mine and I’m sure, everybody else’s arms. Carrie puts her heart and soul in to each song, allowing the audience to truly feel the powerful emotions deep within their own chests, leaving her standing with an uproar of applause every single time. This is my first time watching Carrie in a show and I am so grateful that Cinderella was the one – she is truly extraordinary. For Ivano Turco, his portrayal of Prince Sebastian is his debut performance on the West-End. He is absolutely phenomenal as the awkward and very humble Prince, who only seems to be his most comfortable when around his rebellious friend, it is impossible to not fall in love with him the second he makes his appearance on stage. Along with his vocals that can transport you to another world for a few minutes, Ivano is the whole package and I can’t wait to see how his career progresses within theatre, as he is completely made to be on stage. Carrie and Ivano capture the teasing and loving relationship between Cinderella and Sebastian so effortlessly, you can immediately recognise the friendship they have created off-stage as well. The entire cast of Cinderella put so much passion and hard-work in to their performances, giving the audience a show they will never forget and will carry in their hearts forever. Not only was there a talented cast, but there was a diverse one at that, with two of the main characters being of colour, along with some of the other cast members and an LGBTQ story-line woven within. I couldn’t have been more impressed with everybody who got to stand on that stage and give us the experience of a lifetime.
Cinderella will be touring throughout 2022 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre and tickets are available to purchase right now.
If you would also like a sneak peek of the show in all of it’s glory, the Bad Cinderella music video is out now!