Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella is everything you adore about the classic fairy tale – made fresh, funny and touching.
The ultimate spectacle. Dance lessons from a grasshopper and a dress spun by magic. Primary colours that burst out of the darkness. Billowing ball gowns whisking you into a magical world. And Prokofiev’s irresistibly melodic score showing well-loved characters in a whole new light.
We meet Cinderella at the saddest of times, then see her taken for granted by her wicked stepmother and two nasty stepsisters. But there’s no time for despair: Cinderella’s fairy godmother is casting spells of dressmaker spiders, magical roses and a very special glass slipper.
Originally created for Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2007, Scottish Ballet staged the European premiere of Cinderella to widespread acclaim in 2015.
Last performed: Cinderella was last performed in winter 2018-19. Cinders will tour Scotland and Newcastle from December 2023 – February 2024. For current productions, visit our What’s On page.
Scottish Ballet premiere: December 2015
Choreography: Christopher Hampson
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Design: Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting: George Thomson
‘Hampson’s choreography never ceases to entertain, whether it’s a big showy number at the ball, a romantic pas de deux or a comic turn.’
‘As elegant as it is charming’
‘All in all, magic’
Life has taken a downward turn for Cinderella. After the death of her mother, she plants a single rose at her grave. While she still grieves for her beloved mother, her father has remarried. Her stepmother, who has two children of her own, is a bully. She hates the fact her stepdaughter, nicknamed Cinderella, is kinder and more beautiful than her own brood.
To make matters worse, Cinderella’s father is struggling to cope with life under the thumb of his dominant new wife. To fund a more extravagant lifestyle for her own girls, she sells many of the family’s belongings, including Cinderella’s most prized possession, a portrait of her mother.
Since news that the Prince is planning to throw a lavish ball has spread, excitement levels have risen in the household. It promises to be the social event of the year—and they are all invited! Dress designers, shoemakers and a dancing master are summoned to the house to ensure Cinderella’s stepsisters look as good as possible at the Royal Ball. But the lavish treatment is not extended to poor Cinderella, who has made her own dress from the clothes her mother left to her. Her hopes of going to the ball however are soon dashed when her stepmother rips up Cinderella’s invitation during a fit of rage. Her stepsisters leave for the ball, leaving Cinderella alone and sad.
Cinderella seeks solace in the rose garden where her mother is buried. Her Fairy Godmother magically appears and asks Cinderella what she would wish for. The answer is simple—to go to the Royal Ball. As the roses come to life and dance around her, Cinderella’s dream looks set to come true. Her Fairy Godmother however, warns her that the spell will be reversed at midnight.
The ball is an extravagant affair and is like nothing Cinderella has witnessed before. For the Prince, however, the evening has been nothing special. All the women long to dance with him, but nobody has captured his attention—until he lays eyes on Cinderella. Entranced by her beauty, he approaches her and asks her to dance.
As the evening draws to an end, the Prince thanks his guests for coming. He presents Cinderella with a single bejewelled rose. The palace clock begins to chime. It is midnight. Cinderella flees the palace. In her haste, she loses one of her satin slippers. The Prince seizes on the delicate slipper and vows to find the mysterious woman again.
Wasting no time, the Prince instructs his shoemakers to make exact replicas of the slipper and have them distributed throughout the land. He declares that whoever fits the slipper will be his one true love and his bride. However, no matter how hard they try, none of the shoemakers can match the delicacy and beauty of the slipper. Growing weary, the Prince seizes the original slipper and embarks on a journey around the Kingdom to personally fit the slipper on every lady in every house until he finds the one who fits it.
Early the next morning, Cinderella awakes to find the spell has ended. She’s back wearing her tatty clothes and old slippers once again. Just as she is beginning to think the Royal Ball had been a dream, she glances up to see a single satin slipper; the slipper she wore to the Royal Ball.
Suddenly her stepsisters burst into the room, bragging about their night and how much fun they had at the ball. Cinderella tries to hide the slipper from them but it’s too late. Realising she was the mystery woman who captured the heart of the Prince, they wrestle the shoe from her. When her stepmother arrives in the room, she takes the slipper and destroys it.
Moments later there’s a knock on the door. The Prince and his courtiers want the ladies of the house to try on the slipper. Cinderella is banished while the stepmother presents her two daughters to the Prince. The eldest daughter somehow manages to jam her foot into the slipper, and while the Prince has doubts, he resigns himself to the fact she must be his future bride. But then, out of the corner of his eye, he sees something sparkle. Cinderella is holding the bejewelled rose he had given her at the ball. He immediately recognises her beautiful face and sweeps her into his arms.
Cinderella returns to the rose garden and the graveside of her mother. This time, her beloved Prince is by her side. Cinderella and her Prince have finally found happiness in each other’s arms.