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Cinders comes to town

TRACEY COOPER
Last updated 11:53 22/11/2012
Cinderella stars
Shane Morton
ABOVE: Cinderella stars, from left, Courtney Newdick, Jenna Hudson and Jade Carey.

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It's a classic tale retold countless times since it was first published in 1697, but it's a fair bet Cinderella has never been set in a Hamilton context before.

But that's about to change, with Full House Productions' upcoming performance of Cinderella set not only in The Kingdom of Hamilton but also featuring characters which Hamiltonions will recognise.

Script writer Benny Marama - in his first major assignment - says the play will be recognisable as set in Hamilton "but not as you know it".

"It's got a weird monarchy, it's a bizarre place," he says. "It's a history of the Hamilton royal family."

The basis of the story remains much as it has always been since Cinderella was first published by French author Charles Perrault (who also wrote Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood). A young woman, living with abusive family members in sub-standard housing, catches the eye of the handsome prince while attending a dance party.

Director Andrew Kaye says there are a few twists along the way.

"A couple of characters are not going to be as you would expect," he says.

"It's a nice blend of Hamilton now and the Kingdom of Hamilton. The best of both worlds. It's a very colourful, fairytale world."

The show is on at the Meteor Theatre in Hamilton from November 29 to December 14.

And while the classic Cinderella is a children's fairytale, Kaye recommends leaving the littlies at home for this one.

"It's an adult pantomime, I recommend it for 13 plus," he says.

"There's a bit of naughtiness, a bit of innuendo."

The show is a collaborative work between the Full House team and the Drury Lane Dancers, and they've also enlisted local musicians to write the original music used in the show, which is performed by a live band.

"One of the highlights is the song This is My Town," Kaye says.

"We use different genres of song style, some jazzy Broadway things, some big chorusy stuff."

Music heads Matt Powell and Henry Ashby "have had a lot of 3am sessions, getting everything ready".

"A lot of people have put a lot of work in behind the scenes."

The stage set up at the Meteor will also be original, with a raised stage being set up and over-sized props being created.

"People will be surprised to see the setting.

"Everything is really big, we use really big props," Kaye says.

The group - numbering about 45 and mostly young - has been working on the show since February and Kaye says they are hoping to encourage groups to attend and make a fun night of it, even going so far as getting dressed up in fairytale costume.

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"There'll be a lot of interaction so we want people to dress up in fairytale stuff.

"If the audience is happy, we'll be happy. It's the biggest show we'll do this year so we want to go out with a bang."

Cinderella, an adult musical comedy for everyone (except Aucklanders) is on at the Meteor Theatre from November 29 to December 14. Full House Productions is partnering with Hazel Hayes for a meal and show deal costing $75. The show alone costs $35. To book, email info@fullhouseproductions.co.nz.

- Waikato

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