CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet’s La Fille Mal Gardée

PUBLISHED: 16:57 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 27 September 2018

Birmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee (c) Indy Sagoo Photography

Birmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee (c) Indy Sagoo Photography

Indy Sagoo Photography

The Birmingham Royal Ballet embarks on a national tour this autumn with, as Emma Samms discovers, quite possibly, one of the most charming ballets ever created

Many people’s first exposure to ballet is a Christmas visit to The Nutcracker, but with a disappointing lack of story in the second half, I strongly believe that a far better option as a first ballet for old and young alike would be La Fille Mal Gardée.

This ballet, adapted by Frederick Ashton in the 1960’s, is chock-full of story, easily followed with the help of a wonderfully illustrative score and is all at once funny, joyous and romantic.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal GardeeBirmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee

Set in bucolic English countryside, La Fille Mal Gardée has wealthy, Jane Austen-style landowners, a beautiful girl, a handsome (but poor) boy, a panto-esque dame, dancers dressed as chickens and a real Shetland pony. It also has some spectacularly good dancing.

Momoko Hirata was truly delightful as Lise, a technically demanding role that she breezed through with an endearing lightness and joy. Mathias Dingman as Colas gave us, as ever, his strength and skill but for this role he added both a gentle tenderness and a dazzling Tom Cruise smile, totally justifying Lise’s love for him. Even surrounded by broad comedy, this pair’s romance radiated a heart-warming sincerity.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal GardeeBirmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee

James Barton’s Alain, the tragically simple and thwarted suitor of Lise, gave us laugh-out-loud humour, pathos and even some brilliant footwork. After being rejected by Lise and trying in vain to find someone to accept his engagement ring, the moment he offered it to us, the audience, was truly heart-breaking.

Michael O’Hare, Widow Simone and also Senior Ballet Master of the company, seemed to enjoy every minute he was on stage, thus did we. The entire company of dancers filled the theatre with their happy smiles and their camaraderie but their joie de vivre was always supported by their universally high technical capabilities.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee (c)  Roy SmiljanicBirmingham Royal Ballet's La Fille Mal Gardee (c) Roy Smiljanic

So, if you’ve never seen a ballet before or if you’re an expert and want to see some exceptionally good dancing or even if you’d just like to spend a couple of hours smiling and laughing and have your heart truly touched, then the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s La Fille Mal Gardée is for you.

Catch the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s La Fille Mal Gardée at the Birmingham Hippodrome up until Saturday, September 29.

Click here to see the full list of performance venues and dates.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 12:03

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search