Cinderella debuted as a pantomime on stage at the Drury Lane Theatre, London in 1904 and at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1905. Phyllis Dare, aged 14 or 15, starred in the latter. In 1926, Cinderella was caught on film in the London Palladium, starring Lennie Dean in the lead role.
In the traditional pantomime version the opening scene is set in a forest with a hunt in sway and it is here that Cinderella first meets Prince Charming and his "right-hand man" Dandini, whose name and character come from Gioachino Rossini opera (La Cenerentola). Cinderella mistakes Dandini for the Prince and the Prince for Dandini.
Her father, Baron Hardup, is under the thumb of his two stepdaughters, the Ugly sisters, and has a servant named Buttons, who is Cinderella's friend. Throughout the pantomime, the Baron is continually harassed by the Broker's Men (often named after current politicians) for outstanding rent. The Fairy Godmother must magically create a coach (from a pumpkin), footmen (from mice), a coach driver (from a frog), and a beautiful dress (from rags) for Cinderella to go to the ball. However, she must return by midnight, as it is then that the spell ceases.
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