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What's on




Cinders! premiered in 2023 as an evolution and adaptation of Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella.

Breaking with tradition in theatre is a tradition in itself, and Scottish Ballet’s playful new production of Cinders has a surprise in store each night for audiences as the curtain rises: on some nights, Cinders is a woman, swept off her feet by her Prince, and on others, Cinders is a man, swept off his feet by his Princess!

Set at the turn of the 20th century in Cinders’ family-run emporium, life is sweet until tragedy strikes, leaving Cinders an orphan. Enter the new proprietor, Mrs Thorne, an intimidating mother of three ghastly children. Treating Cinders with contempt, they turn the store into a garish version of its former self. When the Royal Ball is announced, hilarity, excitement, and chaos ensue as the Thorne family begin their frenzied preparations to attend.

Taking refuge in an enchanted rose garden, Cinders is magically spun into a vision of sophistication and beauty, worthy of charming everyone at the ball. As the story of Cinders and the Thornes unfolds, who will get their fairy-tale ending?

Last performed: Cinders was last performed in winter 2023-24. For current productions, visit our What’s On page.

Scottish Ballet premiere: December 2023

Choreography: Christopher Hampson
Design: Elin Steele
Video Design: Hayley Egan
Lighting Design: Lawrie McLennan
Music: Prokofiev


‘This new Cinders delights and engages all ages’ 

The Herald


‘Inspired and witty … a surprising delight’

The Telegraph


‘Simply beautiful … a festive treat’

The Guardian


‘Entertaining and intelligent … brimming with humour’

The Stage



The Rose family business is bustling with customers.

One night tragedy strikes and the shop goes up in flames, leaving only one survivor, a young child. The newspapers name the orphaned child found amongst the charred embers of the shop ‘Cinders’.

Act 1

Many years later, an intimidating new owner, Mrs Thorne, has transformed the former Rose family shop into a garish outlet called ‘Thorne & Co.’ She brings with her three ghastly children — Flossie, Morag, and Tarquin.

Mrs Thorne hands out invites for the Royal Ball and there is much excitement as they all get ready. She taunts Cinders with an invitation only to rip it up, ensuring that Cinders cannot go to the ball.

Time stands still and an apparition of Cinders’ parents appears. They magically restore the invite.

After everyone leaves, Cinders is left alone and imagines being at the ball.

Taking refuge in an enchanted rose garden, Cinders’ Mother and Father appear once again to magically transform Cinders into a vision of sophistication and beauty.

Inside the ballroom, the Royal Host (Princess Louise or Prince Louis, depending on whose story you are watching…) arrives along with their good friends, the dukes. The Thorne family arrives and each of them attempts to impress everyone with their dancing.

Cinders arrives and immediately catches the attention of the Royal Host, who gifts Cinders a rose.

Midnight strikes and Cinders must leave. In the rush and panic, one of Cinders’ shoes is left behind.

Act 2

Outside the palace, guests are leaving, and the royal party begins their search for Cinders.

The dukes make fun of their royal friend for putting their faith in simply a shoe. They are sent away and Princess Louise/Prince Louis dreams of meeting Cinders again.

The royal shoemakers attempt to make a replica of Cinders’ shoe to be sent around the kingdom. Unsuccessful, a royal search party embarks on a door-to-door quest to find the owner.

Cinders awakes back at the store and pieces together memories from the ball before being interrupted by the Thorne family boasting of their own tall tales. They discover the sought-after shoe is in Cinders’ possession. Mrs Thorne destroys it, ensuring Cinders will never be found.

The royal search party arrives in search of the shoe’s rightful owner. Eventually, and not without Mrs Thorne’s attempts to intervene, Cinders is found.

The happy couple regain ownership of Cinders’ family business and rename it ‘The Rose Emporium’.