Well where do I begin…Meticulous, impeccable, artistic, mesmerising ballet productions I have ever had the good fortune to witness. And this, a first introduction for young children to ballet, and a classic to boot, Swan Lake.
The Palace theatre housed the incredibly educational introduction to Swan Lake and the delicate language of ballet.
The sumptuous red velvet curtains were drawn back to expose the most eye capturing 3D spectacular scenery that theatre for me has ever bestowed on stage. The Stage was set, lighting was flawless and a beautiful magical scene was set. There were trees intertwined, and hills cascading into the distance, a whimsical outdoor three dimensional setting was set, just like your favourite nursery rhyme or fairy tale. I felt myself transported to days and dreams gone by and buried myself into the semi-comfortable theatre chair. Waiting for the wonderment I knew was about to dance across the stage and tantalise me with a visionary explosion which is Swan Lake.
Let ‘s give those of you who don’t know a quick synopsis of Swan Lake in brief: Prince Siegfried birthday is being celebrated. Prince’s mother tells her son that he must choose a bride from the young women that have been presented to him. The evil sorcerer Rothbart doesn’t want any love in the kingdom, so he cast a spell on the Princess Odette who he believes the prince may fall in love with. Rothbart banishes Odette and some of the other princess to Swan Lake before the party and curses them to be a swan’s by day and a girls by night. Will Prince Siegfried be able to save her, or will he fall for Rothbart’s sorcery? or as always in great fairytales will love prevails.
The part of Rathbart was amazingly played with great theatrical prowess and as for the narrator Saskia portway whose voice was perfect and her expression and movements throughout her story-telling, had the audience transfixed – and for me personally the star of the show. Prince Siegfried played by Drew Jackson was both sweet and engaging. I could hear giggles from young girls as he leapt across the stage in what they described as “He’s got girls tights on” but also gasped “I wish it was me” – in reference to when he would hold Odette (Shioro Midorikawa) when dancing. Odette was played with such poise and grace; I couldn’t help but wonder would I have made a great Ballerina?
Let me bestow a special congrats to the set designer and Howard Hudson for the lighting as this completely set the tone of all emotions that exuded from the audience at the right time.
This unique collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet schools is created by English National Ballet’s Associate Artist George Williamson and performed by second year students from English National Ballet School.
I have to admit this production was breathtaking and I would definitely recommend it to all novices; not just to children and the reasoning behind this would be simple. Theatre can often terrify the working classes as they believe it’s for the profoundly elite. TNT believes if other companies applied the same approach to make theatre more accessible and understanding to the laymen we would see audience numbers swell profusely.
“Love the swans, they are my favourite” – Victoria & Alice, 8
“Like the dresses and the prince” – Sade, 5
TNT Theatre Real Talk