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I managed to get out of the office this week, down to Plymouth where the Company have been performing Cinderella at the Theatre Royal.

It was interesting to see how the production was translating to other stages. The performance space and backstage areas are a slightly different size and shape in each of our touring venues, and so the technical department were having to scutinise how each element of the show’s vast set entered and exited the stage.

The dancers themselves also have to be acutely aware of their performance space, so as to maintain their spacing during the big group scenes. Equally, those performing solos need to know exactly how much room they have when executing swift manèges around the stage. At Tuesday’s piano rehearsal I saw both Elisha Willis and Jenna Roberts (who made her debut in the lead role this week) dancing their solos on stage.

Meanwhile in the wings, I spotted a props cage, containing various bits and peices used during the performance.

The big pink boxes that you can see here contain the half-finished tutus which the dressmaker brings to the stepsisters for their approval prior to the Prince’s ball.

There’s also a tray stacked with cupcakes, which makes an appearance at the ball itself. We featured John Macfarlane’s designs for some of these props on the Creating Cinderella blog a few months ago. In addition, you can see the bowls in which Cinderella serves her sisters their morning porridge in the basement kitchen where she lives.

For those of you who like putting faces to names, here’s Arthur Lewis, Senior Stage Technician, who’s also been featured on the Cinderella blog, discussing more of the props used!

The Theatre Royal Plymouth also wrote about our visit on their own backstage blog. Click here to take a look!

Rob.

Hello from a very chilly Salford where the Cinderella tour opened last night to a wonderful audience response! The Technical Department have risen fantastically to the challenge of presenting Cinderella on tour and the show looks absolutely fantastic. We’re playing to packed houses this week and our Plymouth performances next week promise to be the same.

The Royal Opera House exhibition ‘Invitation to the Ballet’ which charts the life and work of Ninette de Valois and the history of the Royal Ballet companies is running in the Lowry Galleries at the moment. Lots of the Company have already made it up to see the exhibition and the feedback has been incredibly positive – I’m hoping to get up there tomorrow afternoon to have a look around, although from what everyone is saying I think I’ll need to allow plenty of time to see everything!

Paul Grist
Company Manager

David Bintley’s new production of Cinderella will tour the UK in 2011, with some dates already on sale now.

The ballet is being designed by John Macfarlane, who previously produced designs for Sir Peter Wright’s stunning production of The Nutcracker. It will be danced to Prokofiev’s score.

‘Two of the things that most strongly characterise Birmingham Royal Ballet at the moment are the creativity of the Company, and our commitment to touring’, said the Company’s Communications Director Keith Longmore. ‘We are proud to perform at home in Birmingham, but also to go on the road and take the name of the city with us.’

A full list of performance dates, along with confirmed on sale dates, can be found below:

Birmingham Hippodrome
24 Nov–12 Dec
On sale now – click here to book

The Lowry, Salford
19–22 Jan
On sale now – click here to book

Plymouth Theatre Royal
25–29 Jan
On sale date TBC

London Coliseum
29 Mar–2 Apr
On sale now – click here to book

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s website

Birmingham Royal Ballet on twitter