20-21 May 2014
Reviewed by Debbie Lowndes
My daughter has being a ballet dancer from a young age, so when we spotted the opportunity to review Birmingham Royal Ballet at Buxton Opera House we soon snapped up it up, and we are so pleased that we did, it was amazing.
My daughter and I travelled by car to Buxton, we easily parked in a car park very close to the Opera House. The car park rates were very competitive, it cost just £3.00 for three to four hours. We walked through Buxton Park which led to the Opera House entrance, from the outside the Opera House was very welcoming and clean in appearance. We were greeted in the foyer by a representative of the Opera House, who instantly made us welcome where we got a programme (priced at just £4.00, with lots of interesting content) for the Ballet. She then escorted us to the booking office window and we obtain our tickets in no time. The representative proceeded to point us in the direction of our seats. Our seats were in the dress circle, our seat numbers were on row E, seats five and six and they provided an excellent view of the stage.
Whilst waiting for the ballet we proceeded to look around the very grand opera house. The décor was very complimentary to the building era and tied in well with the fabulous architectural detail to the ceiling and side stage. The paintwork was cream and gold which was exquisite. The building oozed great character and it was a pleasure just to be sat in such a building. Prior to the show they was an intercom announcement welcoming everyone and asking them to ensure their mobiles were on silent or switched off, this was very considerate I thought. The performance started, the opening dance was Quatrain, accompanied with music from the orchestra, this dance was breath-taking and lasted for 27 minutes. This does sound like a long time for a dance, but believe me it soon passed, due to the standard being outstanding.
Next came a 20 minute interval, we used this opportunity to grab a toilet break. The toilets were clearly signposted and were clean and very well stocked. Ice Cream refreshments were being served in the foyer. We decided to purchase an ice cream. There was a good choice of locally produced ice cream, with six flavours to choose from as well as ice lollies, again these were average prices. The service for the ice cream was friendly and efficient. There were two bars, again clearly sign posted. These served both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They also offered items like nuts, crisps and chocolates. We purchased a drink from the bar, the service was fast, friendly and efficient, and again reasonably priced.
We went back to our seats for the second act (bitesized ballet), the first dance onto the stage was Hobson’s Choice, this was classed as clog dance. I thoroughly enjoyed this dance along with the lively accompanying music again played by the orchestra. The backdrop for this dance was a street theme. There was clever use of backdrops and props throughout the whole performance. This was followed by final dance of the second act which was Fill mal Gardee, once again a breath-taking performance with complementary music and dancing.
This was followed by the final interval which lasted 20 minutes. The performance continued with the Façade which consisted of the following dances: –
This section was fantastic, with great dancing, music, costumes, acting and it also had a comical element. I thoroughly enjoyed it, my favourite dance of the whole production was the Scottish Rhapsody it was captivating! What quality…
Wow, what can I say, it was definitely eye-opening and a top class production, and the costumes blew me away and we very complimentary to all of dances. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show with my daughter and my daughter has advised that she inspires to reach this standard one day.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet is definitely a group to watch, quality and talent just oozed out all the way through the whole performance. I would like to give the whole experience 5/5 and I would recommend to anyone, even if you have no interest in ballet, I am sure you would find it enjoyable.
For more information on the Birmingham Royal Ballet visit www.brb.org.uk.
Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN | 0845 127 2190