Those of you who warned me about the stubborn nature of sinus infections were right as I now wade my way through a second course of grim antibiotics. Not much fun, especially in a week which has highlighted the ‘ticking time bomb’ of antibiotic resistance. My daughter, Lily, has sent me some interesting news about an alternative treatment for sinusitis which can only be described – look away if you’re eating – a bogeyectomy. Nice. I shall look forwards to that then.
On a happier and far more aesthetically pleasing note, we made it to see Matthew Bourne’s amazing production of Sleeping Beauty at the Millennium Centre. Just. Wet weather, road works and farm vehicles added an extra frisson to the timings of our journey, but we arrived at the venue with ten minutes to spare. Enough time for a comfort break, certainly – but, quelle surprise - I have to run up to the third floor before I find a queue for the Ladies that doesn’t have ten women in front of me and even then it seems from the deathly silence in each of the three cubicles, that the occupants are there for an extended nap!
More comfortable at last, we join another queue to take our seats only to find an outbreak of major ticket fail. Seat numbers are clearly printed on the tickets, there are plenty of helpful staff to direct you to the correct area and, as a final check, the sections numbers are also marked above each entrance… so how come at least a quarter of the people standing in front of us have to be turned away because they’ve rocked up at completely the wrong place?? Grrr!
Eventually everyone in the packed auditorium was seated and the performance began… Act One – 1890, The Baby Aurora. For the very first minutes, I was engaged but not transported by what to me seemed more theatre rather than dance … and then the fairies arrived to bestow their gifts and from that moment I was utterly mesmerised! The dancing, costumes, makeup and sets were simply breath-taking. How so many dancers leap and land so gracefully without making a sound is beyond me… but then I was one of those little girls who realised very early on in life that I wouldn’t make a ballerina in a million years. The whole production was ravishingly beautiful in every mood from ethereal to darkly sensual and left me speechless with emotion. My only regret is that with so much happening on stage – none of that ‘extras standing around pretending to be having a jolly conversation’ nonsense – I couldn’t follow everything at once and wished I could rewind it very slowly and experience it all over again. Which seems like a very good reason to do it all again one day!
I couldn’t take photos during the performance but this You Tube link to the official promo trailer - brought to my attention by lovely writer, reviewer and blogger, Kathryn Eastman, who also saw it - will give you a small flavour of this exquisite production. And if you get the chance to see it live, you’re in for a real treat.