Was glass slip­per re­ally a slip-up?

Midweek Visiter - - Life at The Little Theatre, Southport -

THE world of theatre is steeped in su­per­sti­tions, mytholo­gies and magic. Nowhere is this truer than in the won­der­ful, quintessen­tially English tra­di­tion of pan­tomime.

The ori­gins of this year’s spec­tac­u­lar SDC fam­ily panto, Cin­derella, right, can be traced back to 7BC when the philoso­pher Strabo re­counted the story of Rhodopis, a Greek slave girl who mar­ries the Egyp­tian King.

The story was pop­u­larised in lit­er­ary form by the Broth­ers Grimm’s Aschen­put­tel, which fea­tured in their iconic an­thol­ogy of Fairy Tales in 1812.

An adap­ta­tion of the tale was brought to the big screen by Dis­ney in a clas­sic an­i­mated fea­ture of 1950 and a mod­ernised live ac­tion ver­sion in 2015 was di­rected by Lit­tle Theatre Guild pa­tron Ken­neth Branagh.

The no­tion of the glass slip­per was in­tro­duced in the 1697 story of Cen­drillion, by French writer Charles Per­rault.

This ver­sion also notable for the in­clu­sion of a pump­kin and a fairy god­mother.

But, did he in­tend the slip­per to be glass?

There is great de­bate and, of the var­i­ous the­o­ries, four stand out.

In Per­rault’s story the text refers to a “pan­tou­fle de verre”, which trans­lates as glass slip­per, but some claim this is a mis­print or a mis­hear­ing.

“Verre”, mean­ing “glass”, sounds sim­i­lar to both “vert”, French for the colour “green” and “vair”, mean­ing “fur”.

A green silk slip­per is cer­tainly more prac­ti­cal, but a squir­rel fur slip­per is ar­guably more cred­i­ble, as this is a lux­ury item of the time and an in­di­ca­tion of pres­tige.

A third the­ory is found fur­ther back in time where ear­lier sto­ries of the slave girl woo­ing Roy­alty at an op­u­lent dance fea­ture an am­ber slip­per.

Ro­man au­thors Pliny and Tac­i­tus both use the word “glae­sum” to re­fer to am­ber.

Could it be that Per­rault mis­took this for a ref­er­ence to glass and sub­se­quently mis­trans­lated it him­self?

The fi­nal the­ory is that Per­raut in­ten­tion­ally in­tro­duced glass in his story; a use­ful ploy so one could shat­ter, leav­ing a soli­tary slip­per for the Prince’s hunt for his mys­te­ri­ous maiden.

Which is your favourite the­ory – should Cin­derella’s shoe be made of green silk, squir­rel fur, am­ber or finest crys­tal glass?

Let us know by vis­it­ing our Face­book page – face­book. com/South­portLit­tleTheatre and check­ing out the pinned post.

One per­son who com­ments, cho­sen at ran­dom, will win tick­ets for a fam­ily of four for the per­for­mance on New Year’s Day!

See Face­book for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and de­tails on how to en­ter!

Cin­derella opens on Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 20 and runs un­til Sun­day, Jan­uary 6.

Con­tact the box of­fice on 01704 530 521/530 460 to buy tick­ets and for any fur­ther de­tails.

The Cin­derella cast in re­hearsal, with Molly Wilkin­son as Cin­derella

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.