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    Cinderella: A Fairytale in 50 Best Plays!

    Cinderella: A Fairytale included in new book of 50 best plays for young audiences

    We are thrilled to announce that Cinderella: A Fairytale, our co-production with Travelling Light, has been included in a brand new book – 50 best plays for Young Audiences: theatre-making for children and young people in England: 1965-2015.

    Edited by Vicky Ireland and Paul Harman, and published by Aurora Metro Books, 50 best plays for Young Audiences is a book for students and lovers of theatre, parents and politicians, teachers and actors and is a guide to progress over fifty years in a field of theatre dedicated to children and young people. With wonderful work created all over the UK the book is very much a personal reflection, based on prominent practitioners, Vicky Ireland and Paul Harman’s careers and their working knowledge of playwriting and production in England.

    At the heart of the book is a detailed listing of fifty plays by English playwrights chosen by their contemporaries which have most influenced those working professionally to make theatre for young audiences in England today. It describes a journey during which many attitudes towards education and the arts have changed, much has been learned and maybe too much forgotten.

    We are delighted that Cinderella: A Fairytale has been selected as the best play for 2011.

    Accompanying the choice in the book is the following citation by Jude Merrill, Artistic Producer of Travelling Light Theatre Company:

    “This was one of those shows created through devising with a company of talented artists in which, magically, no-one falls out and everything comes together in perfect harmony. Director Sally Cookson, having lost her own mother some months previously, wanted to make a show in which the spirit of the dead mother comforts and guides her daughter through the trials of a bleak life. In the end, the process pushed the doomed father into that role, and his tenderness for his motherless child is heartbreaking.

    After his death, the birds that he taught her to love become Ella’s friends, allies and guides, replacing the better-known Fairy Godmother from the Perrault version of the tale. Ella is taunted, not by the familiar Ugly Sisters, but by a stepsister bullied into viciousness by her mother, and a stepbrother so cowed by his place at the bottom of the pecking order that he is grateful for the first sign of humanity, and becomes Ella’s scared and secret protector.

    Undaunted by her un-loving step family, Ella is able to escape to her forest friends where she meets, and helps, an incompetent bird spotter. This of course is the Prince incognito, and the way in which the birds outwit the stepmother and get the two together at the ball is the stuff of legend. The stepmother’s efforts to win the Prince for one of her children – or even herself – leave the audience in hysterics.

    Through a mixture of familiar themes and inspired invention, the play leads its audiences on an emotional dance of laughter and tears, leaving us guessing right to the end whether our heroine will reappear in time to reclaim her rhinestone-studded boot”.

    Cinderella: A Fairytale premiered at Tobacco Factory Theatres in 2011. It has since been performed at three other venues for Christmas, been seen by 60,000 people, been nominated for an Olivier Award and won an Off West End Award.

    It is our production for Christmas 2016 and runs until Sun 22 January. Read more and book tickets on the main show page.


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