Review: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella in Melbourne

The Australian premiere of the Tony® Award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella has opened at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre and presents its contemporary take on the classic tale.

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Review: Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella in Melbourne
Image: Shubshri Kandiah as Ella in Cinderella, credit: Jeff Busby

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella was originally written for television in 1957 with Julie Andrews in the leading role. The stage version made its long-awaited Broadway debut in January 2013 and featured a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and direction by Mark Brokaw.

Now it’s Australia’s turn to experience the modern adaptation of the much-loved story of Cinderella. With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella has infused the story’s classic elements including the glass slippers, pumpkin and masked ball, along with some interesting and unexpected contemporary twists.

Cinderella is no longer just a princess, she is a young spirited woman who not only fights for her dreams but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and consider how he could better rule his kingdom.

Review: Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella in Melbourne
Image: Silvie Paladino and Shubshri Kandiah in Cinderella, credit: Ben Fon

The production features an incredible line-up of some of Melbourne’s finest performers, orchestra and behind the scenes team. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s winning score is delivered wonderfully by vocalist Shubshri Kandiah as Ella (Cinderella), Ainsley Melham as the charming Prince Topher; Silvie Paladino as the Fairy Godmother, Marie; Tina Bursill as Madame, Ella’s stepmother; and Todd McKenney as Sebastian, Prince Topher’s Lord Chancellor; Matilda Moran and Bianca Bruce play Ella’s hilarious stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte; and a strong supporting cast.

The stunning set design and magical costumes that transform rags into ball gowns bring this fairytale to life. There’s plenty of cheeky humour and the show gets better and better as it goes on.

The real highlight was soprano Silvie Paladino who played the sparkly fairy godmother, her voice truly is magical.

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Review: Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella in Melbourne
Image: Ainsley Melham and Todd McKenney in Cinderella, credit: Jeff Busby

As a family show, Cinderella is suitable for kids aged 8 and over. Some small kids may find the storyline a little confusing as it moves away from the original Cinderella story, I would recommend explaining in advance that the musical is a new inspiring version of the story.

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Review: Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella in Melbourne
Image: Bianca Bruce (Charlotte) and ensemble in Cinderella, credit: Jeff Busby

Be sure to arrive early as there’s a stunning Cinderella-inspired carriage in the foyer of Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, the perfect place to take a photo before the show.

Date: from 20 May
Time: Wed–Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm
Location: Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Price: from $69 + BF

More information

We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria but do recommend parents check details directly to confirm dates, times, prices as some details may be subject to change.

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