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 Post subject: NBT's A Christmas Carol
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2001 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Northern Ballet Theatre - A Christmas Carol -New Victoria Theatre, Woking - Sat 1st dec 2.30p.m.<P>I will try and write my thoughts on this although my concentration was not 100% on the production as I had taken 20 of my students (average age 6) and their parents to see this, so a lot of my focus was on their enjoyment of the piece rather than my own.<P>Firstly I had forgotten how noisy matinees can be. Not fidgeting children but the incessant rustle of sweet wrappings was deafening all through Act 1 and only dies down in Act 2 & 3 when they were obviously running out of things to eat.<P>The production I feel was a good choice as an introduction to a full length ballet for children. The story is well known but a the clear and concise use of mime also helped move the story along. The score was a mix of original music composed by Carl Davis and traditional carols and this worked extremely well - particularly the pas de deux in act 1 to "We wish you a Merry Christmas" which used the rhythms and motifs in the music to good and joyful effect.<P>Despite being quite dark in places, there is also a great deal of humour in this tale which the children enjoyed immensely. In particular the Christmas Party scene at the beginning of Act 2 of Fezziwig and Family was comedy dance done well and delighted the young audience.<P>Act 2 also introduces us to the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. These were well danced roles and the in particular the Ghost of Christmas Past decked out in a crown of Holly and Ivy was every little girls dream in the audience. All the ghosts costumes were superb with use of sumptuos colour and richness of material used.<P>All the crowd scenes were well structured - really bringing to life the magic of a Dickensian Christmas. The Corps offered some interesting groupings and were very well together in their formations. All the principals brought across a good mix of dance and acting skills to bring their characters to life and the scenery and lighting combined to good effect - the same scenery being used to create Scrooges house, office, the home of the cratchits and also the dream/nightmare sequences. The versatility of the scenery owes a lot to the inventive and evocative lighting plot used to bring all the different scenes to life.<P>As a family Christmas entertainment it succeeds in being magical and bringing the glow of Christmas. The children I brought sat and watched with hardly any fidgeting and for many this was their first experience of watching a ballet so I would say it was a success on their part too.


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 Post subject: Re: NBT's A Christmas Carol
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2001 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Loved reading this, Joanne. Interesting to see that the children you brought were well behaved. May I ask, did you go over with them beforehand any 'rules' for audience behavior?<P>Does the theater allow eating in the auditorium? I am curious, because theaters here don't. However, adults do often bring a mint, or cough drop with them and those wrappers are very disturbing. But, I haven't yet come across a theater which condones it.


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 Post subject: Re: NBT's A Christmas Carol
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2001 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Actually no I hadn't gone over any rules but I am pleased to say that generally they were impeccable.<P>This theatre is part of a complex which houses a cinema too. There are loads of vendors selling sweets, drinks, ice cream etc so I would say it is pretty much encouraged. Whilst I was expecting some noise at a matinee the first act was unbelievable.


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 Post subject: Re: NBT's A Christmas Carol
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2001 6:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Joanne and I have had a chat and have agreed that we will move this thread to londondance performances.


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