CINDERELLA Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Emerald Fennell previews in June 2021, production opened on 18 August 2021 - Gillian Lynne Theatre, London SYNOPSIS ACT 1 The town of Belleville, France, full of beautiful inhabitants, prepares to be awarded “Most Attractive Town” for the 50th year. The Queen’s beloved, flawless, firstborn son, Prince Charming, has died in battle against a dragon; his younger brother, Prince Sebastian, is shy and gawky. The Queen builds a memorial statue in honor of Charming and the 50th year. At the award ceremony, the statue is presented but has been vandalized, causing Belleville to lose the prize and breaking their winning streak (“Buns ‘N’ Roses”). The townspeople blame the local misfit, Cinderella, a rebellious, goth, loud-mouthed maid (“It Has to Be Her”). They gag her and tie her to a tree in the woods (“Bad Cinderella”). Prince Sebastian, Cinderella’s only childhood friend, arrives to rescue her and teases her for getting tied to a tree again. They catch up and discuss Sebastian’s new status as heir to the throne, and Cinderella’s hard childhood after her parents’ deaths. After Cinderella leaves, Sebastian reveals that he secretly loves and misses her (“So Long”). At home, Cinderella’s vain stepsisters, Adele and Marie, quarrel and complain that Cinderella makes their lives difficult; the Stepmother threatens to kick her out of the house if she causes any more trouble (“Unfair”). Cinderella hopes one day to run away from Belleville, but she stays because she loves Sebastian, though she feels unworthy of him (“Unbreakable”). Meanwhile, Sebastian goes to the Hunks’ Gymnasium for his workout (“Hunks’ Song”). In panic about the town losing the prize, the Queen decides that, to save the town’s reputation, she must throw a Royal Ball on Saturday, inviting every girl in the kingdom; there Sebastian must choose a bride. She dismisses his objections and compares him unfavourably to Charming (“Man’s Man”). In the town square, Sebastian tells Cinderella about the royal wedding and blames her for it. They argue, but Sebastian asks her to be at the Ball (“So Long” (reprise)). Sebastian wonders why he cannot tell Cinderella his true feelings (“Only You, Lonely You”). At the Palace, the Stepmother visits the Queen, and they recall their youth (“I Know You”). The Stepmother arranges to have either of her daughters marry Sebastian (“I Know You” (reprise)). Soon everyone in Belleville is on a shopping spree in the town square to prepare for the Ball. Sebastian gains popularity with the local girls. He sees Cinderella and again asks that she attend the Ball. The Stepmother suggests that Sebastian only invited her out of pity because of her dull looks (“The Village Square”). Later, the Stepmother and stepsisters prepare for the Ball. As Cinderella assists them, they mockingly insist that Sebastian could never choose her (“Unfair” (reprise)). Determined to go to the Ball, Cinderella visits the Godmother, a plastic surgeon, who has made the townsfolk look perfect (“The Godmother’s Shop”). In exchange for Cinderella’s mother’s necklace, the Godmother provides a temporary cosmetic surgery make-over, with a beautiful gown and shoes made of crystal (“Beauty Has a Price”). She tells Cinderella that pain will be bearable only until midnight. Act 2 At the Ball (“The Cinderella Waltz”/”The Ball”), Prince Sebastian is annoyed by his suitresses and is anxious, as he must choose a bride by midnight. Cinderella arrives, magnificent but unrecognized. The Queen forces Sebastian to dance with her. Cinderella confesses that she is in love with him, but Sebastian tells her that he is waiting for someone. Cinderella becomes progressively more uncomfortable in her tight shoes. The Stepmother and Stepsisters soon recognize her, as Cinderella can’t walk in heels. The Stepmother forces Adele to kiss Sebastian at the stroke of midnight. She does so, and the Queen declares her Sebastian’s bride.