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Friday, 23 March 2012


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Was it the Prokofiev R & J? We saw a wonderful version by the San Francisco ballet decades ago at the Edinburgh Festival. We were in the front row so got the added advantage of hearing the singalong performance by the conductor, a tiny wee black chap who obviously had the band eating out of his hand. It was a composite band - part SF, mainly BBC Scottish Symphony. On stage there was the best coup de theatre I've ever seen. A marvellous evening: roars of applause.

But I've been to the ballet only twice because I know I don't like it. By some astounding fluke the other performance I saw was pretty damn good too - the Offenbach Tales of Hoffmann. Now that our available supply of Opera and Ballet is all in London it's beyond our pocket. We still think fondly of our Scottish Opera years.

Yes, it was Prokovief with MacMillan's choreography - don't watch any other!
" the best coup de theatre I've ever seen. You can't leave it there - what happened?
I take your point concerning the cost these days but here's a tip. Some time ago we went to see this very ballet at Covent Garden but we went to the matinee on a Bank Holiday at a fraction of the normal charges. However, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, these cinecast versions at your local Cineworld which, remember, are shot live, are the very best way to see plays, opera or the ballet. Better even than the front row of the stalls, I promise you! Check the schedules and try it. Only £12 a ticket last night!

C de T: Juliet danced in front of a mirror, quite beautifully. Then the other girl - for it was no mirror, just an empty frame - danced off: breathtakingly well done.

That sort of thing makes me spit because I know as a (very amateurish) diector I'd never think of it in a million years!

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