A moment alone in her dingy kitchen home sees Cinderella imagining herself transported to the Prince’s ball. As a prop in her game, she draws a face on the straw bristles of her broom, so that it can become her dancing partner.

While it may seem a throwaway moment, it’s one that creates work for the prop department, who must ensure that the face is gone in time for the next performance.

But the solution is slightly cleverer than simply scrubbing it clean, or replacing the head of the broom each time.

A photograph of one side of the broom head has been taken, and scaled up to actual size. For each show, a copy is printed out, and a panel cut out and lightly spray mounted onto the broom itself. This means that the dancer playing Cinderella can easily draw a face on the paper panel, and that it can be swiftly removed and replaced in time for the next show.

‘We’ve also been trying different ways of disguising the edge of the paper panel’, explains Arthur Lewis, Senior Stage Technician.

‘Initially it tapered into the bristles, as you can see here, but in the end David Bintley himself suggested just using the line of the coloured stitiching as the cut-off point, and that’s been working very well.’

Here you can see a selection of the faces which have been drawn by dancers in stage rehearsals and the opening performances of Cinderella !