A TOP performer who started off at a Bingley dance school wowed a packed crowd at the first night of a major ballet production at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre.

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella began its five night run at the theatre yesterday, and playing the role of the Harry, the male lead and the equivalent of the Prince in this version, was Dominic North.

Dominic is a former pupil at St Mary’s School, Menston and started his dance career at the Nydza School of Dance in Bingley aged nine. He has been a part of Bourne’s New Adventures group since 2004 and has appeared in more of New Adventures productions than any other of the company’s dancers.

The cast for this production will rotate as the five night run goes on, but on opening night it was Dominic playing the romantic lead in Bourne’s unique take on the classic fairy tale.

The play is set in London during World War II - when the city lived in constant fear of German bombings.

Cinderella, played on Tuesday by Ashley Shaw, is part of a much bigger family than the original fairy tale, with step brothers bolstering the dysfunctional family unit.

Although Bourne retains the music by Prokofiev, the period setting and costumes and sense that death and destruction is just a whistling bomb away makes his take on Cinderella completely different to the original story or Disney version many grew up with.

Bourne has said he was influenced by both real events - the bombing of the Cafe De Paris is a centrepiece in the story, and war set films like A Matter of Life and Death, in his production.

Rather than being a dashing prince, the male lead is an injured airman who finds shelter in Cinderella’s home. They get separated, and their efforts to find each other take them through the blacked out streets of London, the ill fated nightclub and even a mental hospital.

Bourne takes the most familiar aspects of the story - the glittering slipper, the magical godparent and the stunning transformation, to ground the story in the familiar, but adds so many new twists to the tale that it will be unlike any version of Cinderella the audience will have seen.

And the opening night performance left the Alhambra in awe of the dazzling production they had just witnessed.

As with all Bourne’s productions, the dancing is incredible, with Shaw and North in particular providing powerhouse performances.

The dancing by the rest of the cast was a perfect mix of styles, with the Fairy Godfather having a completely different swagger than the creepy step brothers and flirtatious step mother.

The sets are also phenomenal, with effects reducing the glamorous nightclub to rubble and recreating a train platform, complete with moving train.

Cinderella runs until Saturday. For tickets and more information call (01274) 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk/venues/the-alhambra-theatre