Rupert Christiansen

Distressingly vulgar: Royal Ballet’s Cinderella reviewed

The choreography is crisp but the staging resembles one of those weird American candy shops that infest Oxford Street

The Ugly Sisters didn’t spark, despite everyone’s best efforts – memories of Ashton and Robert Helpmann as this pair of misfits are still so vivid. Image: Tristram Kenton

Despite its widespread rating as one of his masterpieces, Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella is chock full of knots, gaps and stumbling blocks – all of which the Royal Ballet’s new production throws into relief. Ashton isn’t altogether to blame: Prokofiev’s graphic score dictates an excessive amount of time given over to knockabout for the Ugly Sisters (mostly a matter of them bumping into each other) and a tiresome court jester.

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