Cinderella: A Fairytale

Every year Lancaster’s Dukes theatre puts on a funny festive show. This year Lily, age nine, Safina, eight, and Anaya, six, went along and met the cast of a surprising new version of Cinderella

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The Dukes Christmas show this year is Cinderella but it’s not like the normal one. We expected it to be that old princessy one where Cinderella had a fairy godmother and a glass slipper, blah, blah, blah, but this surprised us. It’s a cool new version of it.

The main character is not even called Cinderella. She’s called Ella, and she doesn’t have two ugly sisters – she has an ugly sister and an ugly brother and they’re not really even ugly. Ella doesn’t have glass slippers, she has sparkly boots.

It’s a lot better than Disney’s Cinderella. You do feel sorry for Cinderella in the film, because she had loads of work to do, but she waits for her godmother to save her. In this one Ella kind of saves herself. She’s more adventurous, climbing trees and talking to birds. Cinderella is connected with nature and that’s really cool.

The prince loves birds too and one day the pair meet in the woods. He seems like a regular person and when he invites her to the ball she wonders: “How does he know the queen?” Ella isn’t bothered about meeting the royal family and tells her new friend – who she doesn’t know is the prince – that princes are boring and lazy, but she would come so she could dance with him.

Ella loses her boot at the ball and the prince wants to find her by seeing who it fits. The wicked stepmother tries to make the boot fit on the ugly sister’s foot by cutting off her toes. We knew they were faking it but it was pretty scary. They were actually cutting a carrot, but it sounded really real. They did other sound effects and they were really realistic too but you could see how they were doing it in the background: they were ripping up strips off fabric when the mum was pretending to put holes in stockings for Cinderella to repair. And when the mum was breaking plates for her to mend they were crushing pots in a big barrel with a stick. It was quite good. Another thing that was a bit creepy was the puppets. They had different sized puppets of Ella, showing
her from being a baby to being grown up and they were really good but kind of weird.

In this version of Cinderella too, the stepbrother and sister aren’t completely bad. When Cinderella gets them to help scrub the floor the stepbrother kind of likes it because his mother won’t let him do things like that. They have to be all neat and clean and really posh.

There were great songs in the show and the actors were really good singers and dancers. The best bit was when they all did silly dances with the prince. The ugly sister walked up to him and was supposed to ask a graceful question but said: “How much money do you have?” and then smushed her face into his. And it was funny when the stepbrother dressed up as a girl to trick the prince. The prince said: “We have a lot in common” and he replied: “More than you know.”

We were so lucky we got to meet the cast afterwards. We felt excited and happy and a bit nervous. We loved it, especially when the stepbrother popped his pineapple hat on Lily’s head.

We’d love to see the Dukes turn some other princesses into adventurous ones, like maybe Snow White, because she likes going in the forest but she doesn’t really do anything. She just sings with the birds.

This show gets five stars because all the actors were really well trained, they had really cool songs and they probably practised for ages and ages. They had really detailed costumes and they were really enthusiastic, especially the queen.

Cinderella: A Fairytale is in Lancaster until 11 Jan. The Dukes is appealing for families who can afford it to buy an extra £10 ticket and pay it forward – donating it back to the theatre to give to children who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to go (dukes-lancaster.org.uk). 

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