Friday, 27 January 2017

Poor Show


Theatre Royal, Bath


Two years ago my daughter, Sarah, took me to see The Nutcracker ballet at the Sydney Opera House.  It was the most wonderful, sumptuous production of a classic.  When Paul and I saw that it was being performed by the St Petersburg Ballet Company at our local theatre in Bath we bought tickets straightaway.

Last night we braved the freezing temperatures and drove into Bath and had a tasty early  supper before heading off to The Theatre Royal.  This Georgian theatre is very old, built in 1805; it is also quite small so I knew the production would not compare on scale, scenery, acoustics etc. to the Sydney Opera House but I was expecting a polished performance from a Russian ballet company. 

When the curtain went up I was so disappointed, no lavish scenery here, just a painted Christmas Tree.  When the dancers came on there was an abundance of polyester, I think their costumes had come from Primark.  It was amateurish at best and quite frankly I would expect a better performance from the local dance school. One of the highlights of the Australian version for me was the dance with the mice and the Mouse King so I could only watch in disbelief when a large radio controlled fluffy mouse appeared on stage.  
 
Sadly when the curtain went down after the first act we grabbed our coats and departed.  We didn’t even stay to see the Sugar Plum Fairy.

an abundance of polyester



17 comments:

  1. These companies tend to be second rate, though to be fair, to russian tastes the costumes are indeed impressive!

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    1. I was just expecting something better from a Russian ballet company.

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  2. Such a shame. I hope it doesn't spoil your previous memories.

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    1. Nothing could spoil my memories of the SOH production, it was wonderful.

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  3. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

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  4. What a disappointment. I found an excellent YouTube video of the Nutcracker from St. Petersburg. Alas, I can't remember the exact name of the theatre - something like Marinensky, it had been refurbished and Nutcracker was their first production.
    Friends went to a local theatre just before Christmas to see the live streaming of Nutcracker by the Royal ballet. They said it was magical.

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    1. I can only describe last night's production as lacklustre. I suppose we should have stayed for the second half, it might have got better.

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  5. That's what happens with live performances. You win some, you lose some !

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  6. Oh, I've just scrolled up and seen that's what Rachel said. Oh well great minds .....

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    1. This one was definitely a loser! I should have known that the Theatre Royal Bath couldn't possibly compare to the Sydney Opera House.

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  7. "It is a stunning looking performance, in the classic, Baroque style with fantastic costume and some daring, innovative choreography under celebrated artistic director and former prima ballerina Marina Medvetskaya." - Bath Chronicle

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    1. Creative writing! Bears no relation to what I saw.

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  8. Most ballet companies have touring satellite troupes that turn-up in village halls, small town theatres, and even in Bath. They are invariably second class, and only manage to give the parent company a bad reputation.

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    1. This was definitely second class.

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  9. Parsnip and Apple soup: Chop up a large parsnip, a large cooking apple, an onion and a potato and sweat them in a knob of butter (or a glug of olive oil) in a lidded pan over a middle heat, stirring often. When they are giving off their juices, add a chicken or vegetable stock cube dissolved in half a pint of hot water and simmer until veg are cooked. Liquidise and thin down to preferred thickness with milk. Top with garnish of parmesan and/or parsley.

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    1. Thank you Pat. I'm going to try this one.

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