Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grease & Sleeping Beauty

I am still remaining sort of in touch with my goals to become a more cultured bunny, and in the last couple of months, my endeavours have however been somewhat slack.

Grease, was the word with all the finance girls from Work Directions and a damn good excuse to catch up for dinner and a show, especially since I had only left there ...oh about a week prior...and they missed me so terribly, by that stage.

I had built up quite high expectations of this musical, though I am not sure why since I was never a massive fan (sorry shock horror to so many who are) of the movie. That and no one can replace Koala Blue girl herself, Olivia and Mr. Now weirdo flying Scientologist Johnno Travolta as the key stars. All the music was there, the Pink ladies were as sassy as, the roaring T-Birds got motors reving, the costumes and set were perfectly fitting....but....

Sadly, even a highly publicised television show (Grease is the word) to recruit the stars could not produce the musically gifted talent required to reproduce Grease to its movie glory. It's odd to think, of musicals going from movies, or that could just be me given that it worked well for the Sound of Music. I personally am hanging out for Sing along Mamma Mia, Abba baby, yeah. (Oh and Grease was definitely not a singalong...which would have disappointed a few people too.)

Danny (Danny Bayne) and Sandy (Susan McFadden) were not convincing to me, though the boy could dance, and at first I though Sandys lack of ability to fill out the notes was just my un-musical ears, but Shawna agreed with me. Sandy just didn't have the voice for the songs and it was only in "Your the one that I want" she really came out strutting her stuff. Sadly, that was the last song, so by then we were snoring.

It was good, light entertainment, and I loved the encore of We go together - that and it was a great girls night out!

The English National Ballet were performing The Sleeping Beauty and after vowing to see more Ballet after loving, The Nutcracker at Christmas time - I finally went again with Sophie in May.

We had booked quite a way in advance for the show at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and we had prime front row dress circle tickets. At 90 quid a pop they were not cheap seats and we were not up dusting the cobwebs with the people standing at the top of the 3rd balcony that is for sure.

The Opera House itself is just gorgeous, originally built in 1732, a fire saw it rebuilt and opened by George IV in 1809 with Macbeth, alas another fire destroyed it completely and the current opera house is the one rebuilt in 1858 specifically for Ballet and Opera, obviously. I have no photos as we were not allowed to take any, which is standard.

Now before I begin, this was on the Monday night following the May Bank holiday and I was exhausted; so as much as I wanted to allow my eyes to lap up the beautiful costumes, incredible dancing (I have never seen so much point work) and the amazing set; my eyelids at some points just refused to open (just some points...I certainly did not actually sleep at any point!!).

It was slightly torturous, as it was truely beautiful, the dancers just floated like feathers and with the classic music, the fairy tale literally just swam before our eyes, it was like a magic story book opening up with the characters bursting to life right there just for us. We both had a lovely time with bubbly at the intermission, sigh...I now cannot wait for the next one...

Stay tuned for more Culture by Lisa....I plan to see Dirty Dancing, Chicago, and La Boheme before the year is out!

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