The story of Cinderella is a classic fairytale loved by both children and adults. After seeing the movies and reading the books, you probably think you know the story but what if it was told from someone else’s perspective?
Five characters enter on stage. They scurry about, fidgeting even when they are standing still. They are rats – Whiskers, Tail, Teeth, Claws, and Ears — the rats that live in the home of Cinderella and in Mike Kenny’s Cinderella (a RATical retelling) they recount the story from their perspective.
The story is told in bits, perhaps to match the attention span of the narrating rats but it flows together nicely. This narration helps bridge the story as it flows from one key event to another, keeping the audience entertained. With no intermission, the characters help to transition the simple set from sewer and kitchen to garden and ballroom. The play’s cast is small, with characters playing multiple roles (with the exception of Cinderella and the Prince). It’s amazing how body stature and simple costume adjustments can have you seeing one person as a completely different character.
This version of Cinderella hold’s true to the original storyline but Cinderella’s character is less Disney princess and more modern girl. When she attends the ball she’s not interested in the Prince for his status. Instead she discovers she has fallen for him because of his character and humour. Cinderella (a RATical retelling) also relies on a different kind of magic to get Cinderella to the ball, bringing out the mother-daughter bond to give Cinderella the courage when she falls into despair.
The story also engages the audience with dance and music as well as physical interaction. The school kids, at the showing we attended, sat, mesmerized by the story, laughing at the rats, and dancing with the Prince. Cinderella (a RATical retelling) does a great job on adding a modern and fun twist to a classic story, perfect for a family holiday activity.
The show runs from November 12 until Decembmer 30, 2012 and is recommended for kids 4 and up.
Photo: L-R: Richard Lee, DeAnn deGruijter, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Matthew G. Brown, Elodie Gillet & Dmitry Chepoveskyin a scene from Cinderella (a RATical retelling); Set & Costume Design by Robin Fisher, Lighting Design by Lesley Wilkinson
Photo: Mark Seow. Thanks to the folks at the Young People’s Theatre for the opportunity to preview the play.