The plot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella musical explained

Coming to Broadway

Here’s all you need to know about the plot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Cinderella musical.

Recently running in London’s West End and now heading to Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella features music from Webber with lyrics by David Zippel and an original story and book by Emerald Fennell.

The new musical has been teased as a new, modern spin on the all time classic fairytale.

What’s the musical all about?


The show is set in the fairytale-esque town of BelleVille, which has be named the most beautiful town for 49 years in a row. However this year they’re mourning the loss of Prince Charming who is believed to have died fighting a dragon.

A statue in Prince Charming’s memory is erected – only to be vandalised by Cinderella, a girl who has always struggled to fit in with the rest of the townsfolk but who does have a friend in Prince Sebastian, Charming’s younger brother and now heir to the throne.

With Charming gone, The Queen decides to hold a ball to look for a bride for Sebastian. Keen to impress, Cinderella heads to the Godmother to make herself ‘beautiful’.

At the ball, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters shares a kiss with Sebastian and the Queen declares the pair are to be married. Cinderella meanwhile plots to put a stop to the wedding.

On the wedding day there’s a surprise as Prince Charming makes a return to BelleVille, revealing that he faked his death to get out of marrying someone he didn’t want to be with. Following the revelation, plans are instead put in place for Charming to wed his true love.

Hearing the wedding bells, Cinderella fears she’s too late to put an end to Sebastian’s wedding and sets out to leave BelleVille for good. After learning of Cinderella’s intentions, Sebastian finds her and the pair share their true feelings for one another.

Book writer Emerald Fennell shared an insight into the plot: “It has everything we all love about Cinderella. It’s a fairytale, it’s a romance, it’s a story about finding yourself.

“We start with a town of Belleville which is the most fairytale town that ever existed and what happens when Cinderella is a girl who lives there and finds it just as exhausting as any of us would if we lived in a fairytale.

“Part of that world in our version is the world of the Godmother who is this terrifying, megalomaniacal plastic surgeon come couturier who has made everyone in that town the way they look.

“What if Prince Charming is gone? And instead his younger brother who is not unlike Cinderella in that he’s always been overlooked suddenly has to fill those enormous boots. It was about starting from a place of friendship and now suddenly everything has changed.”

An original studio cast album is available for order on CD, Vinyl and signed CD.

Bad Cinderella originally ran in the West End at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in 2022. The new Broadway production opens at the Imperial Theatre on 23 March 2023.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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