The Show

Act One

Scene I - The Family House

Cast of Matthew Bourne's Cinderella

The curtain rises and we see Cinderella cleaning her family home and serving tea, whist her two sisters, Vivien and Irene, watch on. Cinderella’s father, Robert, is close-by, asleep in his wheelchair. Cinderella’s three stepbrothers, Malcolm, Vernon and Elliot appear, and the activity in the house heightens. An invitation is delivered to the door creating much anticipation amongst the family. It is opened by Cinderella’s Stepmother, Sybil, and it is made clear that everyone, except Cinderella, will be going to this event. 

A second knock at the door and a delivery man enters bearing a bottle of spirit for Cybil. As she stumbles out of sight, Cinderella picks up the invitation and takes a peek. She dons her stepmother’s fur coat, slips on a pair of sparkly shoes, and dances around the room fantasizing about life as a glamorous film star; for a moment escaping her hard and lonely life. Unbeknownst to her she is being watched by Vernon who makes a pass at her. They're caught in a compromising position and were it not for Cinderella’s usefulness around the house, and the help she gives her Father, we see that her stepmother would cast her out of the home.

Cinderella is visited by an Angel. Although Cinderella cannot see the Angel, he magically guides and manipulates her movements. Suddenly an injured World War II Pilot, Harry, stumbles through the door, and the Angel brings the two together for a brief moment. The pilot is disorientated and Cinderella tries to help him. 

As members of the household appear with a group of RAF service men and women, Cinderella drags Harry out of sight. Harry is soon spotted and banished from the house. Cinderella is forcibly stopped from going after him, and is left holding his serviceman’s hat, as a memory of him.

Alone for a moment, whilst the other members of her family disappear to get ready for the ball, Cinderella begins to dance a duet with a dress-makers dummy on wheels; which she dresses to look like Harry. 

As Cinderella dances with the dummy it appears to become Harry momentarily and she is lost in the moment, until her two sisters appear and ridicule her. The family appear dressed in their finery. They leave the house with invitations in-hand, off to the party.

Desperate to find Harry, and to get away from her miserable existence at home, Cinderella packs a suitcase, with Harry’s hat and her sparkly shoes. The Angel appears again to her, and gives Cinderella the extra push to run away from home for good. 


Scene II – The Blackout

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella – The Company

Cinderella steps out into the foggy streets of night-time London. Here, we catch a glimpse of Harry, who is lost and confused and wandering the deserted streets; quiet except for patrols by members of the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) teams. He catches a glimpse of Cinderella and tries to get to her, but they keep getting separated.

Groups of people in gas masks appear terrifying to her, almost like a pack of rabid dogs. The Angel once again intervenes, and tempts her with an invitation, as she and Harry continue to search for one another in the darkness. Search lights appear in the sky, and air raid sirens are heard again, as we see men, women and children dashing for cover. A loud explosion is heard, and we see Cinderella fall to the floor. The Angel appears behind her, and this time he hands her the invite to the party, before they disappear. 

Figures dressed in white appear, flying through the sky like a squadron of pilots. As if in a dream, Cinderella joins the heavenly airmen before she and the Angel ride across the stage in a white motorbike and side-car, with Cinderella as the passenger, waving her invite to the ball excitedly in the air.

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The Show