DAY OUT IN CARDIFF
We had never been to Cardiff, so when we heard the Arts Society was going to see ‘Snow White’ by the Kiev Classical Ballet we decided to give it a whirl. Usually we go to Bath, Bristol and sometimes Plymouth. After the recent coach tragedy I wondered if we would be told to belt up (now a legal requirement). We weren’t. I did anyway, as I believe in safety first. MTL didn’t, and when I said if we had a crash he would land on me and crush me I thought I saw a gleam in his eye.
It was a foul day, weather wise, the only blessing; there was no wind so brollies could be used. As we had been warned the weather would be bad I phoned the theatre the night before to book lunch in their restaurant. No answer and they didn’t return my call, but thanks to La Fosse Restaurant next door all was very well. As we entered down the stairs I was reminded of the old days in Paris and those vast emporia with waiters everywhere, except these were polite and sweet – possibly Polish. (Sorry Paul Emile – I love you really.)
There were rivets and girders everywhere – reminiscent of an enormous submarine but I was unable to find out the history of the building. After a satisfying lunch and just the one glass of wine (I didn’t want to nod off during the performance) we went next door to the theatre. St David’s Hall is an odd looking building (see below) on three or four floors and the auditorium is fan-shaped with three tiers of seats. We were at the back of the first tier and had a full frontal view of the stage with nothing marring the view.
We were early and the 38 piece orchestra, also from Kiev, were already seated and tuning up giving me a delicious thrill of anticipation. As soon as the music started and the curtains opened we were transported to a world of magical forests filled with adorable animals (I couldn’t take my eyes of a bunny that looked Chinese and, in contrast to the sylph like dancers was short and curvy and cuter than any of Hefner’s bunnies.) Snow White was a creature of exquisite grace and beauty and when she danced with the prince one had to remember to breathe. The prince – by the way had gluteals/buns to die for.
The dark scenes with the Wicked Queen and the Magic Mirror illustrated the fantastic lighting and the wonders of science as the images of the Queen and Snow White alternated on what I thought was a hologram? The dwarves – all seven of them are now elves and each one illustrated their characters through the dance. The music had been specially written for the ballet and the wit of the choreography matched the wit of the music.
Before the performance, sitting in one of the foyers we had been deafened by swarms of little girls dressed as Snow White a la Disney, and fairies with magic wands that lit. The parents were constantly adjured, over the tannoy, to make sure the wands were not brandished in the auditorium as this would distract the dancers and the audience. Fat chance, I thought! At the end of the performance – our palms throbbing from minutes of applause, we realised that those little girls had been as rapt as we were. And apart from laughing at the antics of the elves – as we all did- they had been quiet as mice.
I wish you all could have been there and transported away from January blues. Such a lovely uplifting experience. We hadn’t seen much of Cardiff which, at present is under going some city centre development. But we’ll be back.