YORK Musical Theatre Company’s decision to do The Slipper And The Rose: The Real Story Of Cinderella seems an odd one. The original musical is hardly a classic: music and lyrics are unmemorable (certainly not the Shermans’ finest); the script and jokes are weak; and it is lengthy, stretching the fairy tale to two hours.

That is not to say York Musical Theatre Company did not acquit themselves admirably. They did so, more than admirably. It was well executed and accomplished and artistic and musical director Paul Laidlaw further exhibited his directorial talents.

The acting, singing, costumes, set-design and orchestral accompaniment were all professional, ambitious and commendable. It is the source material that let them down, swaying awkwardly from period piece (foreign wars, royal intrigue) to ostentatious fairy tale (true love, fairies, a country called Euphrania).

The actors gave their all, despite limitations in the familiar tale: evil stepmother, handsome prince, fairy godmother, missing shoe, happy ending. That’s about it. Toby Gordon and Toni Feetenby made a wonderful leading pair as Edward and Cinderella, but the role of Cinders did not give Toni enough to do. There was solidity from the ensemble cast, notably Jim Welsman and Jenny Cohen as the King and Queen, Jill Pollard as the scenery-chewing stepmother and Moira Murphy as the Fairy Godmother.

The Duke of Montague (Stephen Wright, embodying the spirit of George from Blackadder III) stole the show with over-the-top, foppish aplomb.

The set – designed by Robert Readman – cleverly used a translucent curtain to separate action in Cinderella’s house and the castle, but two technical elements really showed ambition and talent: an exuberant dance sequence during Position And Positioning and a mightily impressive, pleasingly cheesy horse-and-carriage rig.

First night hiccups – failing microphones – were quickly ignored. It was sincere and heartfelt. But it paid homage to something rather mediocre to begin with.

It is like launching a Jedward tribute actor celebrating the invention of the Robin Reliant.

That the production demonstrated so much skill and enthusiasm made it all the more frustrating.

York Musical Theatre Company has done Oklahoma, Guys And Dolls, Cabaret, The Sound Of Music and The Wizard Of Oz, but a version of The Slipper And The Rose seems rather perfunctory.

With the imminent royal wedding, however, maybe the Cinderella story is apposite. Maybe William and Kate will be singing “Secret Kingdom” on the big day.