The Slipper and the Rose
Music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Bryan Forbes, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
Stage adaptation by Phillip Burley
The Slipper and the Rose is a charming musical version of Cinderella. Based on the 1976 film of the same name, 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, new orchestrations which are tailor-made for amateur companies, and its sympathetic adaptation for the stage by Phillip Burley, it is an exciting addition to the national repertoire.
The Slipper and the Rose is a 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 - Synopsis
In Euphrania, a tiny kingdom somewhere in Central Europe, live two unhappy people – a sad young girl and a proud young prince – trapped in their two very different worlds.
Following the death of her father, poor Cinderella has been left in the care of her unfriendly stepmother who has two spoiled and simpering daughters of her own, Isobella and Palatine. Cinderella must resign herself to a life of loneliness and humiliation – a servant in her own home – or go to an orphanage.
Poor Prince Edward's doting parents, the King and Queen of Euphrania, and their pompous Lord Chamberlain, are hoping for a marriage of alliance between their only son and Princess Selena of the neighbouring kingdom of Carolsfeld. After an expedition to Carolsfeld with his young companion John, the Prince announces to a stricken Court that he has no intention of taking a wife who is bald and toothless. He insists that he will only marry for love, If that can ever be.
During a stolen visit to her parents’ graveside, Cinderella is disturbed by the Prince and John returning from a hunting trip. The Prince glimpses Cinderella fleeing into the distance. Cinderella’s stepmother punishes her for sneaking out by giving her a mountain of vegetables to peel.
Meanwhile on their ride back to the castle, John and the Prince encounter a strange looking woman who has lost her way. To the Prince’s delight, the woman wishes him 'love' before resuming her journey. John confesses that he and Lady Caroline, lady-in-waiting to the Dowager Queen, are in love, but Court protocol, as ever, bars their way.
The Lord Chamberlain, still pursuing a constitutional solution to a princely problem, proposes a Great Ball at the castle to which every eligible princess in Europe shall be invited. Such a 'bride contest' horrifies the Prince, but his weedy cousin Montague is overjoyed.
In her kitchen prison, Cinderella is working her weary way through the never-ending chores when there’s a tap at the door. It is the mysterious woman again who stands outside with a mongrel dog, which she gives to Cinderella.
News reaches the King that Carolsfeld, insulted by the Prince’s 'snub', is mobilising its armies. Fearing that Euphrania will have no allies left if the Prince does not consent to a marriage pact, the King beseeches him one last time to sacrifice his personal feelings. In anticipation, new portraits of the Prince are hastily painted and invitations to the Ball dispatched to castles far and near. The Court decides that the local nobility will also be invited and this includes Cinderella’s stepmother and her two daughters.
Cinderella, alas, is not invited, but instead is ordered to make new ballgowns for the other three. She tries her best but the task is beyond her. Her dog runs to the mysterious woman, who is of course the Fairy Godmother. She quickly solves Cinderella’s dilemma and the ungrateful family go off to the Ball in their new finery, leaving Cinderella behind. “You shall go to the Ball”, the Fairy Godmother reassures her and suddenly it happens… A single rose becomes the most beautiful gown of all.
Cinderella enters the Ball. The Prince is drawn to her immediately and they dance the waltz together. The clock strikes midnight and Cinderella flees from the hall, leaving behind her crystal slipper.
The King decides that all the ladies in the land must try on the crystal slipper to find out who fled from the Prince at midnight. In the village, a courtier carries the slipper aloft and Cinderella is given the chance to try it on, despite the protests of her stepmother and sisters. The slipper fits and the Prince asks Cinderella’s stepmother for her daughter’s hand in marriage.
Worried that the chance of a marriage of political alliance is slipping away, Lord Chamberlain tells Cinderella she must leave the Prince and allow him to marry a princess of royal blood. Distraught, Cinderella leaves the palace.
The King arranges for the Prince to marry a royal princess. The Prince is heartbroken and tells the King that he will go ahead with the wedding but will play no part in the marriage after the altar. Meanwhile, the Fairy Godmother appears to Cinderella and informs her that the Prince is to marry another. She creates a beautiful wedding dress for Cinderella to wear.
At the church, the Fairy Godmother casts a spell on the bride and Montague, who fall in love and passionately embrace. The Prince and Cinderella are now free to marry. After the ceremony, Cinderella and the Prince share a kiss and the Fairy Godmother cries with happiness.
Synopsis of Scenes for The Slipper and the Rose
- Overture Graveyard/Palace stableyard
- Scene 1 Interior of Cinderella’s house
- Scene 2 Interior of palace
- Scene 3 Graveyard
- Scene 4 Cinderella’s kitchen
- Scene 5 (a) Field
- Scene 5 Interior of palace
- Scene 6 Hallway of Cinderella’s house
- Scene 7 (a) A bedroom at the palace (insert)
- Scene 7 (b) Interior of dress shop (insert)
- Scene 8 Cinderella’s kitchen
- Scene 8 (b) Fairy Godmother’s hideaway (insert)
- Scene 1 - Interior of palace
- Scene 1 - (b) Field
- Scene 2 - Hallway of Cinderella’s house
- Scene 3 - Interior of palace
- Scene 3 - (a) Street
- Scene 4 - Interior of palace
- Scene 5 - Field
- Scene 5 - (a) A bedroom at the palace (insert)
- Scene 6 - Interior of palace
- Scene 7 - Faraway
- Scene 8 - The cathedral
The running time is approximately two hours and thirty minutes, including one interval.
There is no question that the story of Cinderella counts among the world’s best-loved and most often told fairy stories, 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 850AD, and centuries later the resemblances of the tale to that first telling are remarkable. The Cinderella fairytale 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. 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 to 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 main stage. 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.
The Slipper and the Rose is a story about two people in love. Enchanted by wonderful tunes, it is a story very much aimed at a vast, international family audience, retaining at the same time the enchantment it has always held.
The Slipper and the Rose: 37 parts, plus chorus
- Prince Edward
- Lord Chamberlain
- Dowager Queen
- Lady Caroline
- Major Domo
- Fairy Godmother
- First Lord of the Navy
- 7 European princesses
- 1st guard
- 2nd guard
- 1st child
- 2nd child
- 3rd child
- King (bride's father)
- Chorus of ministers, courtiers, guards, servants, villagers, maids, heralds, children and soldiers
The Slipper and the Rose - Musical Numbers
1. Overture - Orchestra
2. 'Once I Was Loved' - Cinderella
3. Scene change and fanfare - Orchestra
4. 'Why Can't I Be Two People?' – Prince and chorus
6. (a) Drum rolls
6. (b) Drum rolls
7. 'What Has Love Got To Do With Getting Married?' – King, Queen, Montague, Dowager Queen and chorus
8. 'Once I Was Loved' (reprise) – Cinderella
9. 'What A Comforting Thing To Know' - Prince, John
11. 'Protocoligorically Correct' - King and ministers
12. 'A Bride Finding Ball' - Prince, Montague
13. Tailor's Scene Underscore - Orchestra
13. (a) Dressmaker's Scene Underscore -Orchestra
13. (b) Cinders' Kitchen Underscore – Orchestra
14. Transformation sequence/'Suddenly It Happens' - Cinderella, Fairy Godmother and chorus
15. Entre'Acte - Orchestra
16. Polonaise - Orchestra
17. Minuet - Orchestra
18. Polka - Orchestra
20. Cinderella's Entrance - Orchestra
21. Waltz - Orchestra
21. (a) Waltz - Orchestra
22. 'Secret Kingdom' - Prince
23. 'She Danced With Me' - Prince
25. 'Secret Kingdom' (reprise) - Prince, Cinderella
27. Star Council Underscore - Orchestra
28. 'Position and Positioning' - John, Prince, Major Domo, peasants, courtiers and chorus
29. 'Tell Him Anything But Not That I Love Him' - Cinderella
30. The Deed Is Done Underscore - Orchestra
31. Dearest Cinderella Underscore - Orchestra
32. 'I Can't Forget The Melody' - Prince, Cinderella
33. Church bells, fanfares
34. Organ music
35. Montague In Love Underscore - Orchestra
36. 'Here Comes The Bride' - Organ
37. 'Secret Kingdom' (reprise) - Cinderella, Prince
38. 'Suddenly It Happens' (reprise) - Chorus
39. 'Secret Kingdom' (reprise) - Principals and chorus
40. Playout - Orchestra
Procedures for obtaining permission to perform The Slipper and the Rose
Please fill out and return the enquiry form
· If you are happy to proceed then you will be sent a draft contract.
· After reading through and confirming you are happy to proceed you will be sent out a final version of the contract for signing, along with an invoice for a £100 deposit and for the scripts and scores you require.
· When the performances are over you should tell us the amount received from the box office receipts. We will then raise an invoice for 13.5% of this figure, or £75 per performance, whichever is greater. When making your payment you can deduct the £100 deposit previously paid.
£100 non-refundable deposit
Licence fee equivalent to 13.5% of box office or £75 per night, whichever is greater
A £10 service charge is applicable to non-members
Standard orchestral set (18 piece): £90 + VAT for the first four weeks, thereafter £20 per week
Reduced orchestral set (9 piece): £60 + VAT for the first four weeks, thereafter £20 per week
There will be a postage and packaging charge applied to all music and scripts
The scripts are for purchase only and are £8 each
The vocal score is for purchase only and is £15
A UK perusal pack containing a script and the vocal score is available for hire for one month, priced at £9.99
An overseas perusal pack is priced at £15