Cinderella: Andrew Lloyd Webber Reinvents The Classic Fairy-tale
The unconventional musical turns idealized beauty standards on their head.
Ever since live-action Disney remakes made their mark on the big screen, we’ve become accustomed to watching unique revisions of our much-loved fairy tales. From dark twists to modern adaptions – the nostalgia-infused genre has transformed in recent years, and Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” is no exception.
After a series of tumultuous delays, the highly anticipated theatre show finally made its debut back in August 2021. Proving to be well worth the wait – Emerald Fennell’s collaboration with Lloyd Webber elevates the well-known rags-to-riches story into something far more tangible.
Set in the fictional town of Belleville – we are transported to a world that almost resembles an obsolete version of Love Island. Shallow snobbery and prejudice attitudes dictate the mood of the townsfolk, enlightening us to primary outsider – “Bad Cinderella”. Played by singing superstar, Carrie Hope Fletcher – Lloyd Webber’s lead is a non-conformist goth, as opposed to your typical princess.
At first, this appears to be a measly and rather predictable way of challenging idealized stereotypes. However, as the plot line unfolds – it becomes evident that there is far more to this story than one might originally expect. Gender roles are subverted, and rivalries are questioned – all lending themselves to a cultural critique on “normalized” beauty standards.
Fennell’s insightful writing makes subtle, nuanced points about gendered politics – debunking societal myths about femininity and masculinity. This provides a refreshing perspective, revamping the classic fairy tale into a modern, relevant story that we can all relate too.
Providing a much-needed escapism for adults and children alike - the musical pairs uplifting lyrics by David Zippel, with a memorable score by Lloyd Webber. It’s the ultimate feel-good watch - raising poignant points about our desire for perfection and how we perceive others. As we head firmly into the festive season, this West End spectacle is not one to be missed.
Bookings are available at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, London - until February 2022.
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