Thursday, 3 January 2008

Being a little girl again - going to the ballet with my mummy

Today I went to see the Beatrix Potter ballet with Munchkin Granny. There is something about going to the ballet with your mummy at Christmas time which gives you an 'all is right with the world' feeling even when you're 31. And when you only just arrived at the theatre in time. And when your shoes have been annoying all the way from Marylebone to Covent Garden. But we had a lovely time.

This particular ballet was special because we had a video of it when we were little. Like most of the things we had on video it was missing the first part, but I have very happy memories of watching the second half. So when I heard, semi-subliminally on the radio while working a few weeks ago that it was being staged over Christmas, I leapt to google it. Evidently most of London was significantly ahead of me as there were hardly any tickets at all left, and almost all of those were standing, behind a pillar, or so high up as to make your nose bleed (or all three). But with much searching I managed to find two tickets in seats, and rang Munchkin Granny in a fever pitch of excitement. Once she'd established that my excitement was not, in fact, related to the imminent prospect of any more grandmunchkins, she rallied and was keen to accompany me (for the record, The Scientist did say that he'd step up to the plate if necessary, but I think he was quite relieved not to!).

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is a beautiful setting for any post-Christmas treat, and even our stratospherically high seats gave us a perfectly acceptable view. The first half was 'Les Patineurs' (the Skaters), and was a very charming half hour of small cameos. Beatrix Potter was what we had mainly come to see, however, and we were not disappointed. The costumes were perfect, the acting lovely, and it was all as magical as you could hope. I actually hardly remembered anything from the video - the bit where the Two Bad Mice try to carve the fake food they find in the dolls' house; Jeremy Fisher's amazing leaps; and Mrs Tiggy Winkle were about it. This Mrs Tiggy Winkle was quite alluring and seductive with her Arabian-dance-hands, and Jemima Puddle Duck was just gorgeously broody and fluffy. I was quite distressed when Squirrel Nutkin lost his tail, and when Pigling Bland was sent away from his home, which just shows that I haven't gained any sense of detachment from stories of animal deprivation since I was about seven. I just wish I could post some pictures, but a) it's not allowed during the performance, and b) my camera battery gave out before I could take an artistically arranged one of my binoculars and performance program. You'll have to go and have a look at the website to get an idea.

Just for the sake of completeness, I can report that the magical Fosse Way led us to Charlecote House, near Stratford upon Avon, and very nice it was too. And I'd also like to say hello and welcome to Granny T, who I gather has had her laptop cleaned up by Eco Bro and is now initiated into the world of blogging. I hope you enjoy it.


Damian said...

Lovely review of Beatrix Potter. You can see a snippet at and the ROH has a Facebook fan page too where there should soon be pics of Beatrix Potter.

Lysy said...

Damian - thank you for the nice response and for the link. I can't wait for more pictures to be posted! The staff in the completely mobbed giftshop said that there would be postcards available from their website in a few weeks' time which I'm also hanging out for :)