Dave and I spent a fantastical afternoon at the Matthew Bourne ballet, Swan Lake, at the New Wimbledon Theatre today. My sister kindly splashed out and has had the tickets since last summer! They were a bit faded but we all got in OK. The storyline is substantially different to the classical Swan Lake so I was quite baffled much of the time but the dancing was wonderful. The costumes and sets were amazing too. This is the second Matthew Bourne ballet we've seen in Wimbledon because we made the journey to see Sleeping Beauty last year too. I love the style of his work. Perhaps I would say that Sleeping Beauty was the stronger of the two ballets, but there's no way I'd take back this afternoon's performance.
It had already been a busy week for culture already and I'm well and truly shattered now! Good thing it's a Bank Holiday weekend. Monday evening we went to +Cineworld Cinemas in Eastbourne for the +Royal Opera House ballet The Winter's Tale. Created by the same choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, and composer, Joby Talbot, as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, we already had high expectations before the broadcast began, but I believe they were thoroughly surpassed. The dancing! The sets! The costumes! And OMG the music! The Winter's Tale is now my favourite ballet!
Tuesday saw us at +Eastbourne Theatres where I had won two tickets to Creative Cow's production of She Stoops To Conquer, a fun restoration comedy. It was low-key compared to the previous night, but none the worse for that and I loved the inventive use of large gilt picture frames throughout the play. The plot is entertainingly silly and all the actors played their roles with great enthusiasm and flair.
Then on Thursday evening we trooped back to +Cineworld Cinemas for more Shakespeare, this time the +National Theatre Live production of King Lear starring Simon Russell Beale who we last saw as a phenomenal Timon Of Athens. His Lear was to the same skyscraping standard and we both feel very lucky to have been able to see him. I hadn't seen King Lear before and so didn't realise quite how bloody a play it would be. A couple of the violent effects were so realistic that they made me queasy. The long run time flashed past though and it certainly didn't seem as though we were in the cinema for well over three hours.
So that's that. Three late nights and a trip to London, all in six days. I think I'll have a couple of days quiet reading now, to recover!