Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, currently playing a lavish season at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne until the end of July, touring up to Brisbane in August and then down to Sydney in October, stars Bianca Bruce as one of the wicked stepsisters, Charlotte. 

Bruce, who is an openly queer actor, spent some of her precious free time talking to Star Observer about tackling her most extravagant role yet, including those extremely detailed costumes!

“A lot of the shows I’ve done before are more modern-day shows where you are wearing everyday clothes but this one, honestly the costumes are so large and (laughing) the Regent Theatre where we’re performing has a lot of stairs so I’m finding stairs really difficult, I’m getting very strong thighs! It is something that is quite crazy, coming in and just seeing the layers and layers of skirts and all of the preparation that has gone into the costumes and the wardrobe, the wigs! 

Stepsisters Lament

“It really is quite astonishing, just to see all of those cogs working backstage every single night, I haven’t been involved in something that has had so much happening but they make it look effortless!”

Does tackling a role like one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, as a queer actor, give Bruce license to explore different character nuances in a way that might not be available to heterosexual actors?

“It’s interesting with this particular character, there’s a song called Stepsisters Lament and Charlotte, all she’s ever been told is, you’ve got to marry well and find a wealthy husband and that’s gonna save the family and that’s good for you.

“And I think from my perspective looking at that going, ok maybe she doesn’t necessarily want to fall in love with a man, it’s just about a means, a means of living and I think that it’s probably given me that agency to… how I immediately read it, when going in for the audition, was that she’s really just trying to grapple with the idea that there’s something wrong with how and who society decides is right for approval or right to be a leader or the correct person to be held up in the world.”

Catch Bianca Bruce and her talented cast mates, including Todd McKenney (Melbourne Only) and Ainsley Melham in Cinderella, Melbourne’s Regency Theatre until 23rd July, then touring to Brisbane and Sydney. Tickets and details at

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