powered by FreeFind


The Slipper and the Rose - Libretto coverThe Slipper and the Rose

Music & lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman: Book by Bryan Forbes, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman: adapted for the stage by Philip Burley.

The Slipper and the Rose is a charming new musical version of Cinderella. Based on the film of the same name released in 1976, the spirit of the film and the original version of the story published by Charles Perrault in 1679 are faithfully preserved. With its romantic score by Richard and Robert Sherman and new orchestrations tailor made for amateur companies, and its sympathetic adaptation for the stage by Philip Burley, it promises to become an exciting addition to the national repertoire. 

The Slipper and the Rose is a real story about two people in love. Enhanced by wonderful tunes, it is a story very much aimed at the family audience, retaining at the same time the enchantment and wonder that the Cinderella story has always held. The Slipper and the Rose is a real story about two people in love.

Production Notes:

There is no question that the story of Cinderella counts among the world's best-loved and most-often-told fairy stores, an enchanting bit of imagination handed from generation to generation and a continuing delight to people of all ages everywhere.

The Cinderella story first appears in writing in a Chinese book about 850 AD and, centuries later, the resemblance of the tale to that first telling are remarkable. The Cinderella fairy-tale as we know it today is based on the retelling of the old story by Charles Perrault who published it, in French, in his Histoires ou Contes du temps passé in 1697.

The first record of Cinderella in Europe appears in Italy in 1634. In this version Cinderella plots with her governess to murder her stepmother. In fact, she manages this by letting the lid of a great chest fall on her neck while she is looking for some old dresses. Then she persuades her father to marry her governess, unaware that the woman has six daughters of her own who are then placed above her.

Many Cinderella versions have appeared in Europe including, of course, that of the Grimm brothers which was translated into English in 1826. The Perrault tale was published in English in London for the first time in 1726 under the title "Histories of Tales of Past Times".

The Slipper and the Rose is a musical version of Cinderella which is both romantic and real. The idea originated when David Frost met Richard and Robert Sherman (who wrote the words and music for Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) in Los Angeles in 1972 and suggested making a film musical of Cinderella. The Shermans readily accepted the challenge and produced a score of great beauty and charm. They were joined by Bryan Forbes who wrote and directed the film which was premiered before Her Majesty the Queen in 1976.

In this stage adaptation of The Slipper and the Rose the spirit of the film and, indeed, Charles Perrault's version of the story - have been carefully preserved. The story is set in the fictitious Central European kingdom of Euphrania, sometime in the 18th century, although this is not critical.

The stage version can be simply staged if resources are limited. Basically, a cyclorama coupled with a static structure of rostra, or even scaffolding and platforms, would provide a stark yet effective setting for the colourful period costumes and a few items of furniture. Conversely there is no limit to the extent to which more lavish facilities can be employed. In either event, it is important to achieve a difference of levels on the stage, to suggest the actors coming "down" into Cinderella's kitchen, for example, and "up" to leave the Palace ballroom or the King's bedroom in Act II.

The directions given in the text adopt a middle course and the producer/designer will quickly see how the scene changes can be simply accomplished. In the original performance of this stage version a three-part set was utilised with a kitchen downstage left, a ruin/graveyard/grotto downstage right and a movable set of steps and double doors representing the palace exterior/interior on the mainstage. In addition great use could be made of a catwalk built around the orchestra pit especially in numbers such as "Protocoligorically Correct" and "Position and Positioning".

No attempt is made to give a lighting plot as this entirely depends on the equipment available but, generally speaking, the play calls for full-up, warm, bright lighting. Pinks and ambers are probably best for this and a circuit of blues in the cyclorama battens will help night fall and dawn effects. If the system described above is used then, of course, each area of the stage needs to be lit in turn.

Although The Slipper and the Rose is not to be compared with a pantomime, nevertheless a good deal of magic is required - in fact, the role of the Fairy Godmother should ideally be played by a performer who is acquainted with the basic techniques of stage magic. This is by no means essential, however, and there are many ways in which all the illusions can be produced with some practice and a little help from the stage manager.

Scenes and Settings



Running time approximately two hours and thirty minutes including one interval


  1. Overture - Orchestra
  2. Why Can't I Be Two People? - Prince Edward
  3. What Has Love to Do with Getting Married? - The King, The Queen, The Dowager Queen, Montague
  4. Once I Was Loved - Cinderella
  5. What a Comforting Thing To Kow - Prince Edward, John
  6. Protocoligorically Correct - The King, The Lord Chamberlain, The General, Ministers
  7. A Bride Finding a Ball - Prince Edward, Montague
  8. Suddenly It Happeds - Fairy Godmother, Cinderella
  9. Waltz Theme - Orchestra
  10. Secret Kingdom - Prince Edward, Cinderella
  11. He Danced With Me / She Danced With Me - Prince Edward, Cinderella
  12. Position and Positioning - John, Major Domo, Cowherd, Milkmaid, Guards and Kitchen Staff
  13. Tell Him Anything (But Not That I Love Him) - Cinderella
  14. I Can't Forget the Melody - Cinderella
  15. Secret Kingdom (Reprise) - Prince Edward, Cinderella


Musicians required for 18 piece orchestra

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Trumpet I, Trumpet II, Trombone, Percussion I, Percussion II, Keyboard, Guitar, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, 'Cello, Double Bass

Musicians required for 9 piece orchestration

Keyboard 1, Keyboard 2, Double Bass, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Trumpet, Percussion


Film Soundtrack recording available