Scottish Ballet Cinders!
 Credit Gavin Smart
Scottish Ballet Cinders! Credit Gavin Smart

Scottish Ballet returns with a Christmas cracker

SCOTTISH Ballet is set to return this Christmas with Cinders! and will take to the stage in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle.

The ballet company hopes to surprise and delight audiences with their playful take on the classic Cinderella story. This year, the production features a new name, glittering art nouveau designs, and a twist to the classic tale we all know and love.

What’s more, Scottish Ballet is breaking with tradition regarding the lead role. On some nights, Cinders will be played by a woman who is swept off her feet by a prince, while on other nights, Cinders will be a man who is besotted with a confident young princess.

To add to the anticipation, audiences will only find out which ‘Cinders’ they will experience on the night when the curtain rises.

Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Jerome Anthony Barnes on the set of Scottish Ballet’s Cinders!. [Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic]

The story is set at the turn of the 20th century in Cinders’ family-run draper’s store with a traditional score by Sergei Prokofiev played by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

When tragedy strikes and Cinders is orphaned, a new proprietor – Mrs Thorne, an intimidating mother of three naughty children – takes over. The emporium becomes an unrecognisable version of its former self and poor Cinders is treated with the utmost contempt.

From there, the story returns to a familiar format – the Royal Ball is announced, excitement builds as the preparations begin, and Cinders is magically transformed into a spectacular vision of beauty and sophistication. Cinders shall go to the ball!

Scottish Ballet’s artistic director and chief executive, Christopher Hampson, said: ‘I’m delighted to be bringing this fresh approach to such a well-known fairy-tale. I have always believed Prokofiev essentially composed a love story, yet full of wit and humour, which underpins this new production. I’m enjoying the playfulness of searching for who guides the narrative and who drives the dream. Collaborating with Elin Steele and the ever-adventurous dancers; we are coming together to deliver a classic Cinders for today.’

Preparations are under way. Principal Bruno Micchiardi and Guest Principal Jessica Fyfe in Cinders! rehearsal. [Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic]


Principal dancer, Bruno Michiardi, said: ‘What I’ve found most interesting about swapping the roles of the Cinders leads is just how different and new it’s made the ballet feel. We all know and love the classic story of Cinderella, but this new version means we’re suddenly working in this amazing upside-down realm, where the male part (previously a more traditionally stoic character) is a complex mixture of vulnerability and resilience, and the female role (usually quite timid and downtrodden for most of the original ballet) is empowered and full of charisma… I’m excited at the prospect of exploring this further and sharing that with the audience.’

Scottish Ballet’s Cinders! begins on 9 December at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal and will continue through to 10 February where it will close at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

Find out more on Scottish Ballet’s website.

Full tour dates below:
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 9-31 Dec 2023
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 5-20 Jan 2024
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 24-27 Jan 2024
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 31 Jan-3 Feb 2024
Theatre Royal, Newcastle, 7-10 Feb 2024

(Centre) Soloist Yuri Marques and First Artist Kayla-Maree Tarantolo in Cinders! rehearsal. [Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic]

Read more on Scottish Field’s News pages. 

Plus, don’t miss the December issue of Scottish Field magazine.