Vintage Adventures: The Making of Cinderella

2 April 2020

We've dipped back into our #VintageAdventures and found 'The Making of Cinderella', a documentary about the creation process of Matthew Bourne's production of Cinderella that was created for the #SouthBankShow 23 years ago, in 1997. Tune in below for our pick of the week. ⁣

Here's an introduction to The South Bank Show from Matt himself:

“It was 1997 when Melvin Bragg came to interview at my then home in Dalston, East London for The South Bank Show. We had had the big success with the premiere of Swan Lake two years before followed by the West End and Los Angeles runs. We were now working on the follow up show, Cinderella, that we were attempting to open directly into the West End and Melvyn and his Director Leo Burley were there to capture the rehearsals and the Opening Night!

It's a very rare chance to see the company in rehearsal and preparation for this now much loved show in its embryo form. We were joined not only by Adam Cooper and Will Kemp both hot from their success playing The Swan in Swan Lake but also Adams wife (a rising star of The Royal Ballet) Sarah Wildor and the legendary actress/ballerina Lynn Seymour who played The Stepmother; her final created role. 

I remember feeling the pressure very much at this time of following up on the enormous and surprising success of Swan Lake. We had 11 weeks of rehearsal (Yes really!!) and still we struggled to finish it! (we now have 6 for a new show).

Watching this again reminds me of how critical some of the old school critics were of the company for a long period at the start of our history… but just watch the turnaround of Nicholas Dromgoole (a real veteran balletomane) at the end of the programme!

If I’m honest, I find the performance clips a little difficult to watch now. Nothing to do with the wonderful cast, but just knowing how much the show has been improved since we first made it 23 years ago! 

As with all of these old films and documentaries it can be a bittersweet experience to view. So many memories of those special people we have lost including Scott Ambler, Neil Penlington, my school friend Simon Carter and of course, my lovely Mum and Dad.

Cinderella is now one of the jewels of the New Adventures repertory and easily one of our most popular shows, recently enjoying a very successful third revival and USA Tour and just for the record, Melvyn was very easy to talk to and we always have a nice chat when i see him to this day…. and he always says that we must do a follow up show… well Melvyn, I’m ready when you are…”

Go Behind the Scenes

for interviews, to learn repertoire & find out about the different production elements that make up Cinderella


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