Grace gets Cinderella ball rolling

Published: 21 July 2022
Reporter: David Upton

Grace Mouat Credit: Michael Warley

Hope Mill Theatre’s production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella the Musical later this year stars Grace Mouat in the title role.

The Manchester venue stages the UK theatrical première of the Broadway musical, with SIX, & Juliet and Legally Blonde star Mouat in the lead role of Ella.

Leading the creative team for this new production are venue founders Joseph Houston and William Whelton, with Houston directing and Whelton co-directing and choreographing. Further casting is to be announced.

Mouat said, “it has been a dream of mine to be part of a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical and I cannot wait to get started on this new version in Manchester.”

In a retelling of the fairy tale, the smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and two stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle. In another part of the kingdom, Prince Topher is trying to find himself and learn his place in the world. When his scheming advisor Sebastian suggests throwing a ball so the Prince can meet potential brides, Ella and Topher’s different worlds come together.

Cinderella was the only musical written for television by legendary duo Rodgers and Hammerstein. Originally broadcast live in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, it was watched by more than 100 million people, before subsequently being remade for TV again in 1965 and 1997 (starring Whitney Houston and Brandy).

A new Broadway version with a Tony-nominated book by Douglas Carter Beane premièred in 2013 featuring several fresh characters and songs. This will be the first time a fully staged version of the show has been performed in the UK (following a 2019 one-night concert version in London).

The musical’s previously postponed 2020 run will be staged from November 1 until December 11.