Barefoot Opera are known for physicalised, ensemble storytelling and integrated music making. In this production of Rossini’s fabulously comic tale, the ill treated Cinders wins her prince through her kind behaviour. This is our starting point for updating the storyline. Cinderella’s step-sisters and their status-obsessed dad will trash the earth’s resources, be over-preoccupied with social media influencers, and generally exhibit callous indifference to their environment. The two sisters are heavily preoccupied with their roles as influencers on SM, and they and their dreadful dad fail dismally in the test the Prince sets them, whereby his personal servant Dandini impersonates his master.
How will they treat Dandini when they discover his true status? By contrast, Cinderella’s generous kindness to the refugee at the door will be to her credit, as he is in fact Alidoro, a wise man of the Prince’s court. The court itself is updated to be the environment of a successful scion of a city business dynasty. With Laurence Panter at the helm and keyboard, the score is delivered by a small onstage band, also members of the Prince’s court – indeed, the clarinettist doubles as Alidoro.