First listen: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s world premiere ‘Cinderella’ cast recording
The original cast recording for the world premiere musical, Cinderella, has been released today, 9 July. Gone are the days of a conventional Cinderella fairytale, as the story's been revitalised with a fresh, feminist take courtesy of Academy Award-winning Emerald Fennell's script. The Cinderella music is by the legendary impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by David Zippel.
Even though Cinderella began performances at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in June 2021, the Cinderella soundtrack is already available to listen to worldwide. There's 36 songs in the musical, clocking in at one hour and 50 minutes. The nearly sung-through musical offers the first insight into what this new Cinderella musical is about, and you can join us in our first listen. We've rounded up our thoughts on the main songs in the album, and you can listen to the full Cinderella album below.
"Buns 'n' Roses"
The opening song titled "Buns N' Roses" after the eighties rock band welcomes audiences into Bellville, a picturesque town that could easily be the setting for a Disney story. Its opening solos are similar to "Who Will Buy" from Oliver!
"It Has to Be Her"
There's that moment in "Potiphar" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat just before Joseph is thrown into jail. It sets up how Joseph is the outcast. Well that's the tone in "It Has to Be Her," as the town proclaim their hatred for Cinderella.
It's the first time we meet Cinderella, and this song performed by Carrie Hope Fletcher definitely packs a punch. It's almost the opposite of a Disney "wish" song in which the princess longs for a better life. This Cinderella is happy to stay on the sidelines, in fact she relishes in it.
Forget Hans and Anna in Frozen, you'll be shipping Prince Sebastian and Cinderella after this duet. You can just tell Carrie Hope Fletcher (as Cinderella) and Ivano Turco (as Sebastian) have a great working relationship. It's almost as if you can hear them giggling in your mind at the slightly silly lyrics; "You're a ferret, no-one would mistake you for Prince Charming" being one that sticks out.
As soon as we hear the stepsisters Adele and Marie (played by Laura Baldwin and Georgina Castle) and their stepmother (played by Victoria Hamilton-Barritt), you'll already be laughing with them. Unlike their traditional namesakes though, this trio's vocal performances are anything but ugly. Oozing musical sass and comedy too, they command musical attention with a buzzing electricity. From their first entrance, this song is almost reminiscent of how the Cinderella family are presented in Into the Woods.
Cinderella's second solo is a reinvention of "Close Every Door" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for a female range. "Unbreakable" is a masterclass in writing an emotional ballad.
If The Only Way is Essex cast members were to describe their ideal Prince Charming, they'd want to take inspiration from this song.
"Only You, Lonely You"
Ivano Turco makes his West End debut in Cinderella as Prince Sebastian. His main solo number, "Only You, Lonely You" holds an endearing quality, balancing youthfulness with the maturity of a Prince that has a life-changing decision to make.
"I Know You"
There's a Bridgerton-esque quality to this duet between the Stepmother and the Queen. It's the first time these two matriarchs sing together in Cinderella, setting up a potential alliance. But could things turn sour?
"Beauty Has a Price"
Gloria Onitiri sparkles as the Godmother in her main song, transforming Cinderella for the ball. There's profound lyrics too, including "Get a metamorphosis, beauty equals pain, redesigned and refined, you won't recognise you." The ominous last lyric of "Best be home by midnight" sets Cinderella up for potential doom and gloom.
"The Cinderella Waltz"
Beautiful orchestral pieces are dotted in Cinderella too, especially the Act Two opener, "The Cinderella Waltz.
"I Know I Have a Heart"
If you're a Carrie Hope Fletcher fan, you'll definitely enjoy Cinderella, as she has five solo numbers: "Bad Cinderella," "Unbreakable," "I Know I Have a Heart," "Far Too Late," and Cinderella's Soliloquy. In "I Know I Have a Heart", her voice has a sincere, charming quality and you'll want to keep listening to her songs on repeat.
"The Vanquishing of the Three Headed Sea Witch"
Arguably the craziest song title of all time, Adam Lambert rocks out as a guest star in this Prince Charming solo. It's got Eurovision written all over it, as well as a School of Rock song.
There's also guest stars on the Cinderella album that don't feature in the musical. Call The Midwife's Helen George stars in numerous songs as the Queen, a role played by Rebecca Trehearn on stage. Broadway star Todrick Hall joins too, giving a cover version of "Only You, Lonely You" as a bonus track.
So what can you expect from the Cinderella cast recording? Blending Golden Age musicals with commercial radio influences, there's something for everyone. We won't spoil the musical for you though, so you'll have to watch Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.
Cinderella tickets are on sale now.
Photo credit: Cinderella cast (Photo by Tristram Kenton)
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