To great excitement the orphans are invited to dance at the Prince’s birthday party but there is no invitation for Cinderella. Left alone in the kitchen the other workers, the cook and cleaners, magically transform into the four seasons and help her transform into the belle of the ball.
And the rest, as they say, is history. In an afternote, Cinderella finds her father. He is a tramp who has one brief scene where he collapses dead drunk but comes back to claim his daughter when she is about to marry the Prince. Distinctly odd and possibly taking inclusivity too far.
The new storyline works well for this shorter version of under two hours. The action moves at a brisk pace helped by remarkable projections, by Tobias Rylander, which minimise scene changes.
The costumes by Christian Lacroix are, as to be expected, quite spectacular. The Four Seasons, except Winter in pristine silvery white, are attired in commedia dell’arte silhouettes and a kaleidoscope of patterns and colours that quite steal the show. At this level there is much to enjoy: a company of talented generous dancers,
Prokofiev’s magic melodies telling a story in a fairy-tale setting but the choreography is sadly in need of style and form.