Cinderella - Theatre Review
Cinders goes to the ball in a Mercedes and is dressed by Selfridges and Liberty rather than a magic wand - in a sparkling new production of Rossini’s opera CINDERELLA at The King’s Head Theatre in Islington.
IN ITS quest to bring opera to the ordinary people, the old King’s Head Theatre - now London’s Little Opera House - charges forward with an original take on Rossini’s classic tale.
Tony Britten’s new libretto is witty and utterly frivolous, lending many laughs and modern references to this familiar story.
The Prince’s servants are sent to fetch the Mercedes (not the horse!) and Cinderella’s fairy godfather uses Selfridges and Liberty to prepare her for the ball instead of his magic wand.
A strong cast handle Rossini’s challenging score competently with stand out performances from Cinderella (Rowan Hellier) and her “ugly” sisters (Naomi Kilby and the sparkling Laura Woods).
With only a tireless pianist for accompaniment and a rather sparse set, OperaUpClose really have done away with the excess normally associated with opera.
However Cinderella contains some excellent musical moments, especially when the chorus sings, and cannot be dismissed because of its lack of grandeur.
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London’s Little Opera House has created a relaxed and intimate atmosphere free from the elitism opera can often invoke. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear some truly talented singers in popular works at a fraction of the cost. Long may it last!
* Showing at London’s Little Opera House at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, N1, Sundays to Tuesdays, until Friday, February 11.