Cinderella review: winged horses, colour and bombast

Big set pieces propel an otherwise routine show loaded with innuendo and noise

Cork Opera House

The big moments in Cinderella are few, but those that occur redeem a colourful but otherwise routine production weighted with innuendo and clamorous with screeched invocations.

The first alluring spectacle is a dance ensemble floating with balloons. The second is Cinderella’s departure for the ball at which she will meet her prince, forget the time and lose her shoe. This is always a transformational event of huge expectation; here the creative team have produced a winged white horse that climbs a cumulus of dry ice and bears Cinderella, and all the bite-sized watchers in the theatre, over a spangled horizon of wonderment.

Molly Lynch is a sweet-voiced Cinders while Barnaby Hughes, Michael Grennell and Adam Colbeck-Dunn do their very best with the script they are given by director Trevor Ryan and co-writer Frank Mackey. Music director Ronan Holohan should have tried harder to make sure the band, the singers and the tracks seem as if they all emanate from much the same place and distance.


Lighting designer Drew McCarthy blazes sprays of illuminations as loud as the sound effects at every possible opportunity, and dancers led by Tara O’Halloran to the choreography of Neil O’Brien enliven a show that suggests, again, that it is time for the Opera House to rethink its approach to pantomime. Or to bring on more flying horses.

Runs until January 22

Mary Leland

Mary Leland is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in culture