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Mandy Kent

Covent Garden Dance Company at Hatch House, Wilts - July 2019

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4 minutes ago, Mandy Kent said:

Hatch House Wiltshire

http://coventgardendance.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=497

dancers include Mara Galeazzi, Vito Mazzeo, Steven McCrae and Lauren Cuthbertson. There are still tickets for Sun 28th July when I’m going . Anyone else ? 

Errrrrr.....not at those prices!!  😲

 

I am sure it will be a lovely occasion.

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Some opera tickets at ROH cost more than this and this includes a reception and a 3 course dinner and wine. A chance to mingle and meet the dancers and so on .

And for me the chance to see Mara dance again ! I’m spending my kids inheritance ! 

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Way to go Mandy!!  

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I have no children and I think my great-nieces and great-nephews will do just fine without my money so I'm very tempted but it's a bit far for a day trip and my camping days are long over.   Can you suggest a local hotel Mandy? 

 

Linda

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Posted (edited)

The Beckford Arms is nice and very close.  If not, the Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury has nice rooms or The Lamb at Hindon.  All places less than 8 miles from venue.  I live just five miles from Hatch House and it is a lovely setting BUT for my money, the price is OTT.  I have attended twice and enjoyed it but prices have gone through the roof.  For anyone interested, here's the pro's and cons:

 

Pro's:

 

Beautiful setting a in a fabulous part of the country on the Wilts Dorset border.  Tisbury station three miles away.  Hatch House has lovely gardens and you have pre-dinner drinks in an Italianate garden and its all very festive and nice and people dress up a bit.  Both times I've been weather has been great so I can't say what happens if it rains. 

 

Dinner served at round tables of 10/12 so unless you've taken a whole table, you will be with strangers, most of whom will not know anything about ballet so conversation can be a little strained.  All pretty civilised though.

 

Ballet usually takes place in two intervals on a raised stage at the end of the canopied eating area.  It all looks very pretty at night and the atmosphere is good.

 

The occasions I went you had to leave after the performance but I see they are making drinks available afterwards which will add to the occasion.

 

If you stay over, you will have the opportunity to visit the wonderful Pyt House Kitchen Garden which is across the road and is THE place in this area.  Opens for breakfast through tea and you can buy veg and flowers and PYO.

 

Con's:

 

I wouldn't rave about the food.  It was okay, not much more and I've had the same feedback from others.  Ordering wine is a bit of a scrum and difficult when you're sitting with people you don't know.  (just seen that wine is included this year which is much better, not least for the pocket)

 

They do a seating plan so its entirely the luck of the draw where you will be seated.  The tables towards the back are not good as obviously the lawn is not raked which means sight lines are pretty difficult.

 

You don't get much ballet for your money!  Less than an hour as I recall and the stage is so small they really can't do much.  Musical accompaniment is limited.

 

So, in summary, this was all terrific when it was around the £75 mark but now its so costly, for me it isn't worth the money. IMHO not an evening for ballet lovers, more a social night out with some ballet thrown in.

Edited by penelopesimpson
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On the Hatch House website there is a list of local hotels and local taxi services. 

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4 hours ago, capybara said:

 

Steven McRae?

Well he is listed on the poster on the website. I’ll let you know if he recovers in time ! Let’s hope Steven makes a speedy recovery. 

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Thanks for the info Penelope, that’s very useful and I’m looking forward to it even more. The food doesn’t bother me as I’ll eat veggie there. The veggie food supplied at such occasions is rarely much to write home about. I’m just going for a lovely night out with some of my very favourite dancers xxx 

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You will have a great time, Mandy.  I saw Mara and Gary Avis and there was a brief opportunity for a chat in a very informal setting.  Its all very beautiful and if the weather is kind, nothing could be nicer.  If you can, do visit Pyt House the next day.  It is really something.  They grow everything you eat which you can see growing in the beautifully tended Victorian kitchen garden.  Hatch House which used to own it, is also the farm for their dairy produce.

 

https://www.pythousekitchengarden.co.uk/

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Thank you, Penelope & Mandy, for all the info.  I shall mull it over and make a decision this weekend.

 

Linda

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Dear BalletcoForumers, I am posting this on behalf of the team at COVENT GARDEN DANCE COMPANY

the information below is not from Mandy Kent 

 

Dear all at Balletcoforum ,

 

I would never dream of posting personally about the shows but I do feel that the ‘pros and cons’ are not quite accurate.  I completely appreciate any and all feedback as it is always invaluable and we strive to improve year on year, which we have.   If you have not been to Hatch House for a few years then you will not have experienced any of the improvements we have made over the years.  We have worked tirelessly on this show for a decade and from its humble start of 157 people it is now 3 nights of 400+.

Hugely flattering.  What is more flattering is that it has sold out two nights in record time this year highlighting the fact the all the improvements we have made year on year have had the desired effect. 

 

Some further correction is that it is not a dinner with a bit of 'ballet thrown in'. There are three half hour sections of performance.  Each half hour section has (usually) four short works in it lasting between 5 and 11 minutes. 

If you have not been for a few years then you would not know this.  

Over the past ten years we have put tens of thousands of pounds into commissioning new works on young and emerging creatives. 

From these shows choreographic careers have been supported and we always open up our dress rehearsals for free to children and students.

 

You might also not know that from this weekend of ballet and dance we created a charity called the Dicky Buckle Fund in honour of him and to support artists and creatives in their careers and to also further the education in the arts. 

 

The ticket price has never been £75, the cheapest the tickets have ever been were £95 in 2011, seven years ago.  The reason the ticket price went up was because we had to become VAT registered and we discovered one year that we were making a lot of loss!  We didn’t want to pass this 20% VAT price hike onto the customer in one go so we passed it on gradually over 4 years.  This nearly broke us as a company as we had to take a huge hit in the very small profit.  You can thank HMRC for that.  

 

We did everything we could to ensure people still came and that everything the show does for all those who love and support still happened. I was determined not to let the dream disappear.

 

The food has always been good. But we always try to improve  We have had a new caterer for the last year and the food is now fabulous.  We serve over 1,200 three course dinners so we expect the occasional issue. But they really are rare.  We also very generous with the inclusive wine, serving over 1000 bottles last year as part of the ticket.

 

Last year for your Best Of British ticket you got: An amazing goblet of superior quality G&T on entry . You had a divine three course dinner with ample excellent wine.  (We ensure the wine is excellent because I want people to not only feel amazing on the night but the next day too!)  and all 12 world class performances.

 

It is an evening designed so that you can experience the beauty and glory of ballet and dance in the most beautiful surroundings.  It is never meant to be an evening of narrative ballet or a ‘Big production’ etc.  It is the best of the best in one of the most beautiful natural theatres in England.

 

I hope you don’t mind me straightening the record but I think it is fair to represent the work and dedication not only of my team but also all the incredible artists who have worked with us over the years.  It is a passion, and I feel passionately about it.

 

We want everyone from the first timer to the balletomane to come and have the most wonderful evening.  The ballerinas are not the only ones who strive for perfection! ;))

 

Thank you so much for all the support and feed back it is always welcome from everyone.

 

Best wishes to one and all.

 

Admin

Team Covent Garden Dance Company 

 

 

http://coventgardendance.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=497

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Posted (edited)

 

On 16/04/2019 at 18:07, bangorballetboy said:

SKIing!

wot in July? Southern Hemisphere ?

Edited by Mandy Kent
typo

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Glad to know that feedback is welcomed by the Organisers - just don't say anything less than laudatory!

 

Clearly, like all reviews, my report was my subjective opinion based on attendance on two separate years.  Actually, I toned things down because I didn't want Mandy or anyone else to have me raining on their parade.

 

However, in view of the  Organisers response, I will emphasise that I stand by every word I wrote.  Apart from the magical setting I found the evenings disappointing, the food mediocre and the whole thing  massively over-priced.  Certainly that is the view of many people in this area where I have lived for more than twenty years.  However, I it is only fair to say that I came at Hatch House from the perspective of many visits to Covent Garden which made comparisons inevitable with the result that the ballet component came up light.  I would also add that if you want a really special evening in agreeable surroundings, Hatch House is a good bet.  

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Dear Penelope,

I thank you for all your time and effort and kind words (and also the critical ones).  We always welcome all feedback whether good or bad and we actually act on it.  The post that Mandy kindly posted on my behalf was purely to set the record straight a little, It was also written to give some more background on the event and what it does and for who.  The high ticket price is a result of the 20% increase and the increase of prices of staff/food/wine etc.   

 

I believe the last year you attended was 2014 when Mara and Gary danced and therefore there has been a huge amount of changes since.  Therefore I think you can understand that I wanted to make sure that the work of the team and artists was fairly represented.  

 

I would like to invite you as my guest to Hatch House 2019 on the Sunday evening and to write a short review of the show here on the forum.   This way you will get to have a fabulous evening and you can let me know if you think the changes we have made over the years have hit the mark.  Please pop me an email and let me know if you can make the 28th of July.

 

I do hope you have a lovely weekend in the sunshine.

 

Happy Easter one and all!

 

Matt 

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