Edinburgh Playhouse – 20 to 24 January 2009
Theatre Royal, Glasgow – 09 to 13 June 2009
Cinderella On Ice is a spectacular from start to finish. An unusual twist on the classic fairytale sees Cinderella as a watchmaker’s daughter; plighted by his father’s relationship with a woman who dislikes her and is only interested in the promotion of her own two biological daughters. Set within the background of the theatre, Cinderella’s ‘wicked stepmother’ is the head of dance; and when a chance comes to attend the town mayor’s son’s ball and catch his eye; nothing is going to stop her making sure that Cinderella isn’t noticed.
Whilst this is a visual feast, and an excellent adaptation of the story we all know so well, it isn’t for everyone. Told through expressive dancing on ice; it can be overly cerebral at times and hard to decipher what is happening. The amazing feats of skating talent more than make up for this however; with Vadim Yarkov standing out above the rest. His powerful moves and perfect dramatisation of his character’s feelings, sees Cinderella’s father as truly mesmerising.
With ten costumes costing more that £4000 to make, and created by Albena Gabueva, this really is a beautiful performance to watch as you feel yourself being transported to another world. The cast is made up of Russia’s most talented skaters, and this shows. Their abilities on ice are amazing, and there for your eyes to see. You can expect a few trips and slips on occasions however; but with an ice stage a third of the size of a normal rink; this would be difficult to avoid. It does break the ‘spell’; but the cast and production team’s talents immediately remedy that.
If you are an ice skating enthusiast or ballet lover, this is for you. If, however, you prefer your narrative to be fed to you with a spoon, this isn’t going to happen here. With no dialogue or singing, it really is up to you to make sense of the story from the movement. Don’t let that stop you from going however- just sit back and relax and be prepared for a treat for your eyes from the Imperial Ice Stars.