The bell tolls for Cinderella in remote Russian region

An ill-timed production of Cinderella could be banned amid fears that it tacitly supports plans to change Russia's time zones.

Officials in the remote Kamchatka region were infuriated when the plot appeared to mock a controversial shift moving the peninsula's clocks one hour closer to Moscow.

Alexei KuzmitskyAnd while a first attempt to ban the production at the state theatre in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky failed, the sell-out show may yet need a fairy godmother to keep it on stage.

Grumbling governor

The provincial governor Alexei Kuzmitsky has ordered future performances to be cancelled for fears that they might undermine the government's authority after his aide reported on an outrageous episode she witnessed.
Image dapted from image that originally appeared at

In the Russian version of the fairytale, the King turns the clocks back one hour to persuade the beautiful Cinderella not to flee his palace at midnight.

But on stage the King's decision to tamper with time has calamitous consequences ­ which appeared too close to the bone for Kuzmitsky after his own decision to put Kamchatka's clocks back one hour provoked public protests.

Powerful support

But like every good fairytale, there are those willing to help the downtrodden theatre company fight back.

Kamchatka's ex-governor, Mikhail Mashkovtsev was actually the first person who made the story public by writing about it in his blog.

With reference to "various sources" he told the public about the next act of the story. The next show was to take place on Jan. 8, and the theatre's administration as well as the actors have been under fire all day.

"Guards had been planted around the theatre, but after a thousand people gathered by the entrance it was decided to give up."

According to Mashkovtsev, the actors performed the uncensored play, although they had been ordered to cut out the unwanted episode.

Mashkovtsev praised the actors' courage and urged his readers to attend performances at the Kamchatka Theatre of Drama and Comedy.

"If you are ever in Kamchatka ­ don't miss it!" he wrote in his blog.

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