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Subject: "Dick Whittington opening night" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #424
Reading Topic #424
jonathan

22-12-99, 12:19 PM (GMT)
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"Dick Whittington opening night"
 
   I loved every minute of this - it's a cross between a musical, a pantomime and a ballet, with all the boring bits of those forms excised, and all the best ones done with real panache, the cast being a happy mixture of high-grade actors, dancers and singers. The direction and choreography by Gillian Lynne is stunning - fresh, entertaining and beautiful. Her attention to detail is breathtaking - lots of eye-pleasing tableaux, great transitions between scenes, no loose ends, no bad sightlines, and plenty of effects achieved through stagecraft rather than hydraulics.

It seems unfair to single out people from such a large and talented cast, so I won't. For ballet fans however, I should mention that it's a treat to see AMP's Ewan Wardrop as a very slinky cat: his pas de deux with fellow cat Jayne Regan (NBT) is one of the highlights of the show.

The music benefits from not being all by the same composer. The score is assembled from a very distinguised line-up of British composers as diverse as Lesley Bricusse, John Dankworth, William Walton and Benjamin Britten (many more too), and the overall effect is of music at the service of theatre rather than the other way round. As one of my pet hates is seeing the orchestra packing up and leaving the pit before the people on stage have finished their calls, it was a very pleasant surprise to be played out of the theatre with a reprise of one of the big tunes.

There are more details at the Sadler's Wells site:

http://www.sadlers-wells.com/performances/main_stage/autumn99/dick_whittington/details.htm


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