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Review: My First Cinderella

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ENB my first cinderella leads

Look how much I love you all. The first sunny day in, ooh, a whole year, and I’m in here writing a review.

But it’s worth doing because I’m back from the English National Ballet’s My First Cinderella (aimed at young children) and it was just lovely. There’s a bit of urgency to tell you about it as there’s only one more day in Aylesbury before it disappears, though it does pop up again on 4-5 May at the New Theatre Oxford.

ENB cinderella jestser
It’s actually a kind of ballet/panto hybrid – let’s call it a banto – which works much better for little ones. There’s a narrator who also acts the voices of the other characters as they interract, a lot of ‘have you seen which way Cinderella went?’ and even a ‘She’s behind you!’ moment. If you have young children, you’ll know how short attentions spans can be, so it just allows them to stay in the moment that bit longer.

'My First Cinderella' Ballet - London
There’s still a lot of dancing – a fantastic solo from Prince Charming,  plenty of ensemble dancing and some funny scene stealers from the Ugly Sisters who danced and acted their petulance perfectly. Cinderella (not the one featured in these pictures by the way) was gamine and young and a wisp of a thing. Her legs were so long that she sometimes seemed out of control on them! I’m not sure she was the best dancer, but she really looked the part and acted well.

ENB my first cinderella putting on shoe
We bought a fluffy flashing wand for £5 and the auditorium sparkled with red lights for the whole performance. It would have been fun to have asked the kids to use them during the performance – perhaps to help with the magic as Cinderella transformed for the ball – but maybe they’ll read this review and do it tomorrow…

ENB cinderella Prince Charming splits
As you’d expect with lots of kids milling about, it was a relaxed vibe in the audience for this performance, but there’s a minimum age of 3 and I think that’s about right – any younger and it could be tantrum territory mid pas de deux. The upper age limit is hard to know, but I’d imagine My First Cinderella would still hold pleasure for children of 10. Above that and they might feel it’s too babyish for them.

Let me know if you make it. Please don’t be shy, I love to get your feedback, and it’s also really useful for other readers, so write anytime. You can find the comment box is just below a completed post, just scroll down the page slightly and you’ll see it.

Right, off to expose my pasty English body to the sun. Have a lovely day! x

My First Cinderella, at Aylesbury Waterside until Sunday 21 April; then Oxford 4-5 May. Tickets £10-25. Buy them here

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