Originally a European folk tale, Cinderella was first written down as a part of Giambattista Basile’s Pentamerone in 1634. The story’s most popular version, however, was first published by Charles Perrault in his 1697 collection of literary folk tales, Histoires ou contes du temps passé. Here, Cinderella is a dutiful and kind daughter treated unjustly by her stepmother and stepsisters. Through magic, her fairy godmother helps Cinderella prepare for a royal ball for all the young women in the land—an event her stepmother had strictly forbidden her from attending. Cinderella reaches the palace and meets the prince in an encounter that is bound to change her life.
Cinderella’s story has been the basis of several operas, ballets, films, songs, and theatrical productions. Among the most famous of these are the eponymous London Coliseum live staging by the influential musical theater writing team Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the beloved 1950 film animation by Walt Disney.