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  1. Yes, I went tonight having seen them first time round and couldn't resist picking up a late return to see them again. The whole cast are the dream team for me Matthew Ball, Marcelino Sambe and James Hay - aarrhh! Extra nuances in all their acting tonight, including some very cheeky ones. The three harlots - superb. The problem is knowing where to look in the market scenes. … and Hayward/ Corrales had upped their passion /performance several notches from first time round. Goose bumps / joy / and I can't sleep. James Hay has posted a lovely photo on his Twitter feed.
  2. I took 2 children aged 7 and 5 to a performance of ENB's My First Ballet: the Sleeping Beauty at Richmond Theatre. They loved it - so job well done. I didn't love it quite so much although I love the concept of these ballets. The ballet was narrated throughout, which was excellent and it also mirrored the mime happening on stage, which I really appreciated. Not sure any of the children did, but never mind. I learned quite a lot about mime. The story of the Sleeping Beauty was changed quite significantly. No spinning wheel (old fashioned I assume), so Aurora is pricked by a rose, not a spindle. This negates the need for the Rose Adagio (as she would have been pricked), but a version of that dance was still presented, but not to the right music! Surely if you are introducing children to the Sleeping Beauty ballet, the most famous dance of all should be represented with the right music which is so famous and so beautiful. Nothing nasty really happens, so Carabosse turns into a good fairy, and the kiss to wake Aurora up is turned into a hug. Oh well, nice for children to think the world is a happy place. The quality of the dancing did not overwhelm but the dancers deserve great credit for keeping their concentration through a noisy audience experience.
  3. I think it depends if you are going on your own or if you want groups of tickets. Also if you are picky in which dancers you wish to see. In general I think the ROH membership is worth it because I look to book for specific dancers and also occasionally a group of 4. I actually upped my level of membership this year because the group of 4 proved difficult for a popular Christmas matinee and I also found that the best seats had gone for the specific dancer performances I wanted. However, if you hold your nerve, it is usually possible to snap up returns for any performance with a week or less of it happening - for 1 person, that is. However, you are then at the mercy of the price range of the tickets being returned. Friends membership does also get you invitations to other events such as rehearsal. Bottom line with the ROH - the more you pay, the more opportunities you get.
  4. I think it's entirely a matter of personal preference in what we like to see. You didn't like that, I did - it's just a different interpretation.
  5. I really enjoyed tonight's performance but can empathise with some points made by John. Jacobo Tissi started slowly and somewhat hesitantly. He was understated in his acting, which I think emphasises the RBs emphasis on strong acting and yes, there were some timing incidents. I admit to feeling somewhat worried. However, he did pick up and I didn't feel there were any issues with his dancing with Marianela. Indeed, I loved the balcony pdd. I also thought the pd3 before the ballroom scene was well executed, as were the marketplace scenes in Act 2. I remember seeing Nicolas La Riche guesting with Sylvie Guillem many years ago now, and his pd3 with Mercutio and Benvolio was positively shoddy. Nothing like that tonight. He's very tall BTW and at one point it looked as Yuhui as 1st harlot had trouble reaching his eyes to cover them up in the interplay in Act 2. He seemed to tower above the rest of the cast. I loved Marianela's Juliet. It's a completely different interpretation from anything else I have seen in this run with more overt characterisation, different gestures and facial expressions. For me, she was the star of the show (if anyone can eclipse Marcelino Sambe as Mercutio) and I felt her Juliet really came alive. I think her partnership with Tissi will mature and expect future performances to go up a notch. I remarked to my (very patient) husband this evening on returning home - I don't usually book this number of R&Js, but I'm booking not just for the R&Js but to see the supporting cast because we are seeing such strong performances throughout the cast. I think this is a reflection on how high a standard we see at the RB these days. Is now the time to admit I snapped up late ticket for the 3rd Hayward/Corrales performance, possibly to see Matthew Ball as Tybalt again.
  6. Well, there you go, you never can tell what a visit to the ballet will deliver. I originally booked tonight's ticket because Will Bracewell was dancing Romeo (so sad he wasn't) but decided to stick with it and go anyway - not a difficult decision really. I came away having witnessed a delightful Juliet debut from Beatrix Stix-Brunell who managed to bring freshness and much joy to the role. My best Juliet yet! (I haven't seen them all BTW). I had a brief conversation with Ryoichi Hirano last week and he said tonight was all about Beatrix, which I thought was a lovely sentiment, so remembering that, I decided to concentrate on Beatrix. I was near the stage so could see the multitude of expressions which passed through her face right from the first minute she came on stage. It was immediately different from any other Juliet, and continued to be so as she met Romeo and fell in love: so much characterisation. I've never seen this in Beatrix before, but perhaps she hasn't had the chance to ever show it. Her dancing was exemplary too and she definitely benefitted from Rio's very secure partnering (contrast Corrales/ Hayward). The balcony pdd was delightful. A lovely debut. The rest of the case did not stand out for me as on Saturday (either performance). Nothing wrong at all and I thoroughly enjoyed it: there just wasn't the electricity, especially between the 3 leading males and Tybalt. So, well done Beatrix and let's hope she gets further chances to impress us.
  7. No, no one does it seems. I will say no more but I did find this surprising when I asked
  8. I'm with you there 100%.... and BTW I LOVE your reviews. I didn't see any extraordinary chemistry with either R&Js and I've seen rather a lot in my time. So compare Vadim in his last performance with Daria Klimentova, Cope/Guillem, Soares/Nunez in this particularly ballet - and there is no comparison. In other ballets Hayward had electric connection with Campbell, but the RB management seems to have robbed us of this particular partnership. So, for me, yesterday: the supporting dancers, if one can call them that, were of equal, if not more interest than R&J, but like you, I was most impressed with Sarah Lamb who surpassed my expectations. The other 3 principals, met my expectations.
  9. I went to both performances yesterday and feel privileged to have seen both. What casting in the matinee! I can only echo the thoughts already written here already. For me Matthew Ball's Tybalt was a total revelation but James Hay and Marcelino Sambe's performances were equally stunning as a pairing of friends... and when the 3 of them were on the stage together, it was electric. The same didn't quite happen in the evening. Sambe's Mercutio was superb though, on both occasions. I preferred Vadim and Sarah's R&J in the evening. I don't often see Sarah Lamb and I was very impressed with her acting skills as well as her dancing of course. I loved the Hayward/Corrales partnership too and I suspect they will perform even better next week, especially with some of the lifts (being really picky). Corrales is certainly an exciting prospect and his speed across the stage was electric. Can someone confirm - did Hay/Sambe appear in exactly the same costumes for the scene before they enter the house / ball?. I thought they both appeared in red but then Hay changed for the next scene, where they were back in contrasting colours. That - or I need a new pair of glasses. The performances showed the amazing strength in depth we have at the Royal Ballet now, not only in the principal roles, but throughout the entire company. Marvellous.
  10. … and he was absolutely stunning - couldn't take my eyes of him, which then caused difficulties as Marcelino Sambe and James Hay (Mercutio and Benvolio) were superb too. Loved it!
  11. Conversations I had last night when at the ROH led me to believe that Clarke is not fit, but it seems very odd that they have not announced a replacement
  12. ..and so they did, and very charming they were too and very good for business - quite a queue. So, now I have love from Vadim and hugs from Marianela. People of course wanted photos etc etc and they coped with it all so politely.
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