Monday, June 02, 2008

The Dream.


‘Well,’ as MTL said: ‘there’s always Mendelssohn’s music.’

On the coach there were only two other men; clearly ballet was not so popular with our old boys. We were blessed with clement weather so MTL could sit drinking coffee al fresco, whilst I checked the shops, which were close by, once we had passed the road works. Lunch was at ‘Henry’s’. I had a nutty brown sandwich with egg Florentine, baby tomatoes, spinach and red onion which was unusual but tasty, followed by a toasted brioche with a sort of fruit compote and ice cream – again not the norm but delicious.

The theatre was new to us and what I have noticed about Cardiff is the buildings we have visited seem to be spacious. This theatre has clean lines – much less ornate than the Bath one and sitting in the circle one appreciated the airiness. On entering the auditorium we were surprised to see the cast on stage as if they were a ballet group warming up for a class. MTL commented on how they all looked terribly young and I pointed out that was because we were terribly old.

Secretly I hoped they weren’t going to be dressed in practice clothes throughout but I need not have worried.

David Nixon, a Canadian from Ontario is the Artistic Director of the Northern Ballet Company and he, with co - director Patricia Doyle created this Olivier award nominated version of ‘a Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The dancers are a ballet company, about to go on tour and the time is the 1940’s so there are gorgeous New Look costumes. Theseus and Hippolyta assume the roles of Artistic Director and Principal Dancer. What at first seems to be a ballet studio with barre, turns into a moving train which transports the Company to a world of fairies and floating beds.

As the train enters a tunnel en route for Edinburgh the dream begins.

The choreography brings the play and its characters to life and the wit and skill has one laughing out loud. Right from the first movements in the studio the action is mesmerising and when the music starts one is enchanted. I never found the Bottom bit very funny but there are delightful comic characters including the character of the Wardrobe Master, a very tall lanky Steven Wheeler who plays it as camp as Christmas. If you love music, spectacle, witty dancing and great entertainment don’t miss it.

The weather broke on our return journey and traffic came to a halt on the motorway after a bad accident involving a camper van which must have skidded over onto the other side and seemed to have demolished an oncoming car. Then from Bridgwater the roads were flooded and I couldn’t help noticing that most of the houses on the outskirts had made their gardens into hard standings. As we passed a country side- road we saw a farm worker up to his waist in water, his vehicle submerged and the fire engine approaching him. He waved to us with a big grin on his face. That’s the Somerset way.


problemchildbride said...

It all sounds smashing, Pat. I'm glad you got home through the weather in one piece.

I think it's cool you got to see the dancers warming up.

PI said...

Sam: I think it was all part of the show and suspect that even that was choreographed

BBC said...

Doing anything is iffy and hard on the planet. Not that I think many care about the planet when they want to travel.

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That Production sounds so imaginative...! Do you think Mathew Bourne has influenced a lot of other Choreographer/Directors? That is the first thing I thought of when reading this post....(I saw Bourne's SWAN LAKE when it was here, four times!!!) I would love to see this production, Pat....But I could do without that drive! Traffic everywhere and Weather everywhere is just atricious!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

I took Jax to the ballet when she was about 8 years old. I think the cod piece frightened her a bit but it was a good show. Can't remember who was in it or what it was but I am a heathen after all ;-)

PI said...

BBC: we don't fly, have got rid of our second car and I (because I can) walk wherever possible. Good advice re dessert:)

Naomi: I would think so. I see Matthew Bourne id to choreograph the new 'Oliver'.

Manic: I remember Morecambe and Wise being hysterically funny about Rudolf and his cod- piece when they appeared together at some big charity do.

Eryl Shields said...

Mmm, mmm, and mmm, it sounds wonderful. I love Mendelssohn and A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Somerset way sounds tops.

sablonneuse said...

The ballet sounds great. Wish I could have seen it but thanks for posting the photos.

PI said...

Eryl:I t was a good day and we were thankful to be home in one piece.

Sandy: pleasure.