Cinderella on Ice

14 Aug 08 - Adelaide Theatre Guide, Australia - Richard Flynn

This is no creaking rags-to-riches story of just how nasty women too can be to each other.

That theme still drives the story but it has been given a completely new makeover – and it shines all the more for that. This time it’s a beautiful girl studying at the ballet school with her two step (but far from ugly) sisters. Her dad’s a watchmaker (Vadim Yarkov) whose second marriage to Cinderella’s stepmother (Olena Pyatash) is the cause of all the grief. Time is at the core of the new take on the old story, so much so that all the town clocks go haywire whenever the Fortune-teller gypsy woman appears (Viktoria Zhukovstova) to help Cinderella to the famous shoe-fitting moment and the happily-ever-after result.

Midnight is especially important, of course, and there are thirteen skaters suitably attired for that. Yes, thirteen – you’ll need to see the show to see how Thirteen O’Clock (Denis Balandin) fits in!

The young man who falls for Cinders at first sight (yes, it’s a fairy story, like women’s magazines everywhere) is the local mayor’s son. He’s played by a strikingly handsome man (Andrei Penkine) of Christopher Dean class. Cinderella is Olga Sharutenko who skates as well as Jayne Torvill but is heaps more beautiful. Their love duets and solos are quite simply stunning.

There’s magic a-plenty in the breathtaking company of artists, the choreography (by director Tony Mercer) they execute, seemingly without effort, and the splendid parade of costumes (by Albina Gabueva) and the fresh and beautiful sets by Eamon D’Arcy.

Most refreshing of all, perhaps, is the completely new and impressive music score (by Tim A Duncan and Edward Barnwell), though Tchaikovsky gets an airing in the ‘Swan Lake’ ballet excerpt. Prokofiev, however, doesn’t get a look-in – and the show is better for that brave artistic decision.

This is a show for all the family – but the director has seen to it that there are interesting layers and it will appeal probably much more to adults than to their offspring.

If you thought all ice shows are the same, have that notion painlessly changed – but you’ll need to hurry (see above) as the caravansary moves on after the weekend.

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Upcoming show dates

 Peter Pan on Ice