Sunday, 23 November 2014

Theatre 2014: Review Thirty-Nine

Lord of the Flies (ballet), Theatre Royal, Norwich. November 2014.

We'd not been back from our holidays a week before I was off to the theatre again and after enjoying Swan Lake so much last year I leapt at the chance to see another Matthew Bourne ballet.

Here's a shocking confession for a bookworm to make - I've never read the Golding novel Lord of the Flies. I know the basic plot premise but none of the details.  I considered reading it while we were away and then decided that I wouldn't - I'd watch the ballet first and see if I could follow the story.

The answer is a resounding yes - from the very first movement on the stage to the last I understood and followed the storyline throughout, and just like Swan Lake I found it incredibly moving and powerful and at times incredibly tense and scary.

This wasn't traditional ballet but it was all about the choreography and movement and this time the cast was all male. Interestingly not all of the cast were professionals either. Back in April a call went out for people interested in the project to come to a taster session and since then local boys and young men have been trained to such a standard that I could see no way of telling them apart from the fixed touring cast.

I was transfixed throughout the whole performance and like so many theatrical experiences this year if it was possible I'd go and see it again like a shot - there is so much happening on the stage all of the time that I don't think it would be like seeing the same thing twice... I am going to read the novel now and see how they compare.

The new season has just been announced at the theatre and I already have tickets for Bourne's Edward Scissorhands but I am also contemplating some of the more traditional ballets and giving opera another go.  Good productions are dangerous as they just make you want to see more and more!

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