Meet the leads in new Cinderella musical
Belgian actress Charlotte Campion, who played the stepsister in an earlier production, plays the title role in current version
The world just can't get enough of the timeless Cinderella story.
The latest take is Belgian production company Music Hall's Cinderella, A Fairly True Story, a musical for all ages that puts a modern twist on the beloved fairy tale by telling it through the eyes of an inquisitive reporter.
It features an international cast from Australia, France, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium, and combines an original music score with re-arranged pop songs like I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas, Everything I Do (I Do It For You) - Bryan Adams and She's So Lovely - Scouting For Girls..
Belgian actress Charlotte Campion, 24, slips into the iconic glass slippers to play the titular persecuted heroine.
After studying scriptwriting and drama at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, Belgium, she went on to do music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, from which she graduated in 2013.
Her biggest parts since have included portraying Maria in The Sound Of Music (by Music Hall and Albert Verlinde Entertainment) and, coincidentally, the stepsister Priscilla in the Van Hoorne production of Cinderella.
And what's Cinderella without her Prince Charming?
Australian Caleb Vines, 24, who completed his Bachelor of Musical Theatre in 2012, certainly looks the part. During his studies, between the years of 2010 and 2012, he appeared in productions like West Side Story and Into The Woods.
Following his graduation, Vines continued with his stage career, starring in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and How To Train Your Dragon: Live Spectacular in Beijing.
We catch up with the pair in between shows, which are currently running at Resorts World Theatre...
What do you like most about this musical, compared to other retellings?
Vines: I think the complexity of the relationships is stronger. Here, Cinderella's mother is really present and she plays a very key role in Cinderella's life. At the beginning of the play, she has passed away, but she is a spirit who comes back and she kind of acts as the fairy godmother as well so it's a very beautiful relationship for both of them.
Also for the prince, there's another character Aunt Nanny, who is kind of like the woman who raised me since I was a child in the palace. She looks after me and is basically my closest confidante. She helps me to find a wife. I think it's another extra element that really adds something.
Campion: There's a lot of magic in this one and I think it's darker than the other versions. It has a wider spectrum. It's really dark and I think sometimes it might be scary for little kids but there's a lot of humour too and it's very magical.
Vines: Ours is based more on the Grimm fairy tale rather than the Disney version and we built on it from there.
Charlotte, is it a dream come true to play Cinderella?
Campion: Yes, and I think I would like to play every princess. But I never thought (it possible). People always say to me: 'You're too small, you're never going to play the princess, but maybe you'll play one of the stepsisters'. So it was really a surprise when they told me I got the part of Cinderella.
In fact, you did play the stepsister in another production of Cinderella. How does it feel to have experienced both sides?
Campion: I like it very much. It's totally different but it's funny that I know now the two sides of the story. It gives me an interesting perspective. The stepsister is very ugly and funny and she can be rude and you can do anything with that character and I love that. Cinderella is sweeter but I like playing her too because there's more love in her and there's a beautiful growth for her character.
Did you grow up reading and watching fairy tales? Was Cinderella your favourite Disney princess?
Campion: She's not, but I like her very much. I like Mulan because she's a fighter. In our show, at the end, when Cinderella meets the prince, she knows there's something to fight for.Vines: She really changes, doesn't she?Campion: I change when I meet the prince. I try to set the stepsisters up and I bite my stepmother's hand which I would have never done before. So I like that she becomes a very strong woman.
Vines: Beauty And The Beast is one of my favourites. Pocahontas had lots of action and a good score.
There's surely much to live up to playing someone perfect like Prince Charming?
Vines: Maybe a little bit, but my prince is very different from what you might expect. He's very desperate to take ownership of his own life.
He's been very sheltered and hasn't been out of the palace at all. So while he's in the palace, everyone does everything for him and it frustrates him a lot. But with the help of Aunt Nanny and Cinderella, he discovers who he really is.
Have you both found your own prince or princess?
Vines: I have been in love for sure. I haven't found that one person yet but hopefully I will soon.Campion: I've found him! We'll be married in maybe a year or two.
What's next for you?
Campion: I'm going to play Rizzo in Grease, and Maria in The Sound Of Music again, but this time in French.
Vines: I'm also a playwright so when I get back to Australia, I'll be working on a play I've written. We made a short film of it actually so I'm going straight to the editing suite.
HER BEAU: Prince Charming is played by Caleb Vines.
Cinderella, A Fairly True Story
Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
Now till Jan 4, Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays through Mondays at 2pm and 7pm. No shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
SPH readers can buy 3 CAT 1 tickets and receive 1 ticket FREE at bit.ly/sph-cinderella. Total cost for 3 tickets is $426 (GST is already included in the price).