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The Slipper And The Rose

by Bryan Forbes, Richard Sherman & Robert Sherman, stage adaptation by Philip Burley

... in partnership with 
The Slipper And The Rose (Stage Version)

       

Music by the Sherman Brothers, the composers of 'Mary Poppins' and 'Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang'


Synopsis

In Euphrania, a tiny kingdom somewhere in Central Europe, live two unhappy people – a sad young girl and a proud young prince – trapped in their two very different worlds…

Following the death of her father, poor Cinderella has been left in the care of her unfriendly step-mother who has two spoiled and simpering daughters of her own, Isobella and Palatine. Cinderella must resign herself to a life of loneliness and humiliation – a servant in her own home – or go to an orphanage.

Poor Prince Edward. His doting parent, the King and Queen of Euphrania and their pompous Lord Chamberlain are hoping for a marriage of alliance between their only son and the Princess Selena of the neighbouring kingdom of Carolsfeld.

After an expedition to Carolsfeld with his young companion John, the Prince announces to a stricken Court that he has no intention of taking a wife who is bald and toothless. He insists that he will only marry for love… If that can ever be. During a stolen visit to her parents’ graveside, Cinderella is disturbed by the Prince and John returning from a hunting trip. The Prince glimpses Cinderella fleeing into the distance. Cinderella’s step-mother punishes her by giving her a mountain of vegetables to peel.

Meanwhile on their ride back to the castle, John and the Prince encounter a strange looking woman who has lost her way. To the Prince’s delight, the woman wishes him Love before resuming her journey. John confesses that he and Lady Caroline, lady-in-waiting to the Dowager Queen, are in love, but Court protocol, as ever, bars their way.

The Lord Chamberlain, still pursuing constitutional solution to a princely problem, proposes a Great Ball at the castle to which every eligible princess in Europe shall be invited. Such a “bride contest” horrifies the Prince, but his weedy cousin Montague is overjoyed.

In her kitchen prison, Cinderella is working her weary way through the never-ending chores when there’s a tap at the door. It is the mysterious woman again who stands outside with a mongrel dog.

Cinderella’s step-mother can hardly believe her eyes when she next sees the kitchen table. Everything is beautifully prepared and laid out.

News reaches the King that Carolsfeld, insulted by the Prince’s “snub”, is mobilising its armies. Fearing that Euphrania will have no allies left if the Prince does not consent to a marriage pact, the King beseeches him one last time to sacrifice his personal feelings. In anticipation, new portraits of the Prince are hastily painted and invitations to the Ball dispatched to castles far and near. The Court decides that the local Nobility will also be invited and this includes Cinderella’s step-mother and her two daughters.

Cinderella, alas, is not invited, but instead is ordered to make new ball-gowns for the other three. She tries her best but the task is beyond her. Her dog runs to the mysterious woman, who is of course the Fairy Godmother.

She quickly solves Cinderella’s dilemma and the ungrateful family go off to the Ball in their new finer, leaving Cinderella behind. “You shall go to the Ball”, the Fairy Godmother reassures her and suddenly it happens… A single rose becomes the most beautiful gown of all.


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