Lily James has been wowing as she waltzes in the big-screen, live action Cinderella.
Lily has already cut a rug, dancing in Downton Abbey, as the vivacious Lady Rose.

But on the set of the fabled fairytale the actress has been floating around on a sound stage at Pinewood Studios, to the strains of a newly composed waltz by Oscar-nominated composer Patrick Doyle, with a little help from choreographer Rob Ashford.

Lily plays the title role opposite Richard Madden as Prince Charming and Cate Blanchett as her not entirely wicked stepmother (she’s more resentful and miffed than out-and-out evil).

Helena Bonham Carter, with a milk-white perm and gown to match, is the fairy godmother. And Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera play Cinder-ella’s stepsisters.

Doyle’s score for the Disney movie is going to have audiences humming and dah-dah-dahing happily ever after. Listening to it as I watched a ballroom scene, where Lily and Richard were all but flying, I was unable to stop myself bobbing from side to side in time with the music. I looked around and spotted several burly crewmen swaying, too.

Doyle said the instructions from Kenneth Branagh, the film’s director, were for the waltz to be simple and effective.
‘Ken gave me very succinct and intelligent notes about the mood and the atmosphere he anticipates for the film, but there was a great emphasis on romance,’ Patrick said, when we chatted on the famed 007 sound stage at Pinewood.
‘The complete sparkle and magic had to be present in the simpleness of the melodies, so that the whole sway of that waltz lends itself to romance.’

I was hearing the full orchestrated piece, complete with violins and cellos, but Doyle said the idea is that a child should be able to pick out the tune on a piano with one finger.

He worked on the composition in France, and sent through a rough version, which ended up being used during the screen tests for Cinderella.

The film continues shooting, and post production will take up the first half of next year. However, audiences won’t be able to see the finished picture till Easter 2015.

But you can hear Doyle’s music well before then (though nothing from Cinderella). On December 1, there will be a special Barbican concert to celebrate the composer’s 60th birthday.

The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Frank Strobel, will perform a selection from the scores Doyle wrote for the feature films Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Frankenstein, Sense & Sensibility, Hamlet, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Calendar Girls, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Brave and the forthcoming action-thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.



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