Friday, October 20, 2006

One For All

Northern Ballet are doing The Three Musketeers at the moment and, with this being a more accessible kinda thing and not all stick thin Russian birds taking it far too seriously, Jema offered to take me.

Rarely one to shy from a new experience we went to the show at the
Nottingham Theatre Royal (one of my favourite local venues) this evening. I've got to admit to being initially sceptical.

It was great. Chivalry, as it should be with Dumas, is at the fore. The Musketeers themselves were the very embodiment of the appropriate stereotypes and, while it's a bit rushed to start, it soon gets into the buckling and swashing, the outlandish masked eccentricities of the French court masques, and all that to-and-fro intrigue.

The fencing scenes are pretty well choreographed (believably exciting and funny) and the chaps dutifully butcher their way, with undeniable comic finesse, through drove upon drove of the Cardinals Guard. The sets are, as one would expect, gob smacking; English frigates sail out of port and musketeers ride on life-size replica galloping horses. The innate humour, almost a parody I though from my Richard Lester favourite, was clever and unforced.

As for ballet as a medium. Well, yeah, okay. If I'm going to the theatre I'd usually rather have an opera but hey, I was on the wifes dollar and I'm not complaining. It was jolly good fun.

Check out the tour dates if you get a chance, it's way better than panto ;-)

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