Matthew Bourne's Cinderella
Review by Willard Manus

New Adventures, Matthew Bourne's dance-theatre company, has brought its extraordinary production of CINDERELLA to the Ahmanson for an encore run. First seen at the Ahmanson in 1999, CINDERELLA features superb dancing, dazzling stage craft, and unique story-telling. And of course Sergei Prokofiev's fiery score.


photo: Johan Persson

Bourne, who directed and choreographed, set his modern version of CINDERELLA in the London Blitz. There, in the midst of wailing air-raid sirens, semi-destroyed buildings, blacked-out streets, the London Underground, crowded dance-halls and military hospitals, the love story between Cinderella (a nurse, Ashley Shaw) and her handsome suitor (Andrew Monaghan, an injured RAF pilot) unfolds in vivid, dramatic fashion.

Other key characters include Cinderella's guardian angel (Liam Mower in a silver suit), Sybil, the evil stepmother (Madelaine Brennan), and various stepsisters, stepbrothers, friends, and denizens of the Café de Paris, where the plucky Londoners dance their nightly defiance of war and death.

Set in three acts, this 2 ½ hour-long re-imagining of the Cinderella fairytale is a success in every aspect, a delight for all the senses. Bourne has made Cinderella's quest for love seem fresh, original and deeply moving as well.

(Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave. Call 213-628-2772 or visit The show will also tour nationally)