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Mayerling - suitable for what age children?


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I've got tickets for myself and 12 year old daughter who is a ballet student to see mayerling as she was keen to see Edward Watson - the description says ' adult drama' but does not say ' unsuitable for children ' as hansel and gretel did. I am assuming that this is because of the story content but that it would be suitable for my daughter to watch - what are your opinions if you have already seen it ?

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It's a pretty harrowing ballet. Drug use (Rudolf is shown shooting up with a syringe), suicide (lots of playing with revolvers), violence against women (I personally interpret the "wedding night" pas de deux as a rape scene). It depends how mature your 12-year-old is (I;m not a parent so not qualified to say). If I knew a 12-year-old, though, I don't think I'd take them to see Mayerling.

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Hello, windover60.  I've expanded on your post title so that it doesn't become a competitor to our main Mayerling thread here: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/3561-royal-ballet-mayerling-2013/ - you may want to have a look at it.

 

Firstly, I think that Hansel & Gretel had "unsuitable for children" because it was such an obvious children's title that it needed to be said: the RB don't usually put rating warnings on their ballets.  Secondly, there can be a world of difference between one 12-year-old girl and another, so to some extent you will have to use your own judgement on this - it's not one I would automatically take a 12-year-old to, I must say.  Presumably you've read the blurb on the ROH website: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/mayerling-by-kenneth-macmillan.  Let it be said that Watson was fantastic in this role on opening night - and has been previously, too.  Certainly this ballet is far darker than the film, I understand.  Suffice it to say that the ballet contains a (relatively implied) rape scene, intravenous drug use (albeit for therapeutic purposes) and addiction, a murder/suicide using guns (behind a screen), adultery and some fairly explicit pas de deux by ballet standards (although that might go over the head of a less-worldly 12-y.o., I suppose).

 

Any contributions from people who have more experience of that age group than I do?

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I see Katherine has also responded while I was typing that - thanks, Katherine.

 

I also meant to say, as I usually do on these sort of occasions, that you might be able to hire or borrow the DVD from a library and take a look at it yourself before going - it might give you a better idea of how suitable or not it is.

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I suppose that, depending on the, shall we say, "social innocence" or otherwise of the child, Mayerling might result in some uncomfortable questions being asked as to why people behave in the way they do in that ballet.

 

(I always remember the story of someone who took a young - don't know how young - girl to a matinee performance.  The girl asked, relatively loudly, "Mummy, what's that man doing to that lady?", or words to that effect)

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(I always remember the story of someone who took a young - don't know how young - girl to a matinee performance.  The girl asked, relatively loudly, "Mummy, what's that man doing to that lady?", or words to that effect)

 

Well, what exactly WAS he doing?  I'm not being facetious but Mayerling contains quite a few scenes which a young 12 year-old could find puzzling.  A child who watches soaps like Corrie or East Enders would probably see the wedding night scene as straightforward domestic violence, sadly far too frequently seen on TV.  But the death and funeral of the young 'heroine' might well give a sensitive child nightmares.

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I agree that it depends upon the sensitivity of the child. Having seen some of the (wonderful) rehearsal footage, I would have taken my 14 yr old, but she's very imaginative and sensitive, despite being socially aware and street smart, so I would maybe have made it a matinee. More time to get any disturbing thoughts and images out of her head before bedtime!

 

I definitely wouldn't have taken her at 12. But that's just me. :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was very disturbed last night at the number of young girls I saw at the ROH: several were definitely younger than 12, some might still have been in single figures.  I just hope some of the more disturbing imagery went straight over their heads - rather unfortunate, I thought, that it happened to be Soares, who decides to swallow his gun at the end, rather than just put it to his head as the others do.

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Spannerandpony am just doing my Spanish Homework (class tonight) and don't know why has taken me so long but just noticed your little Spanish motto underneath...so while the dictionary was out have learned two new words today.....that were not part of the homework!! And it's a great little motto.....am working on how I can possibly get this into the class tonight.....just a throw away remark!!

 

Back to thread.....I think Mayerling is okay for teenagers on.....as a general rule and a bit of discussion beforehand about the theme may help obviously. But you mums know your own children and can probably assess whether they are mature enough to cope with the adult themes in this ballet.

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I personally wouldn't take my (actual) 12 year old daughter to Mayerling or Manon. They have adult themes and some shocking imagery. Specifically relating to Mayerling, I just don't think that my daughter would enjoy it and I would not enjoy explaining the story to her. However, I've always been very particular about what my children watch on television or DVD. My daughter does not, for example, watch any of the soaps. My daughter is rather sensitive about some things. She found Giselle a bit frightening when we saw it at the ROH a couple of years ago. I feel that H&G was even more unsuitable for children. I would have put the age limit at 14 rather than 12. There was a girl of about 9 or 10 at the performance which I saw. My daughter would have been really spooked by the Sandman and disturbed by the fate of the children.

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I agree aileen - with the exception of Giselle, which we saw several years ago (dd was 10 or 11 if I recall) and fortunately she was so enchanted by Alina and Johan (and Yuhui, another of her favourites) that she forgot to be alarmed by the admittedly spooky graveyard scenes. It was one of the old "Welcome Performances" for families so the ROH obviously thought that Giselle was suitable for youngsters! :-)

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Children can be more sensitive than adults may imagine sometimes which is why important to really know your own child to be able to sense what they can cope with etc.

The soaps are ridiculous these days and very unsuitable viewing for primary age children......how Eastenders gets away with its 7.30 slot I don't know.....though haven't watched for couple of years now.

 

I can remember at 13 bursting into tears at an army training programme on the BBC circa 1960 as material was totally unexpected. Interestingly enough my parents were a bit shocked at me being so upset but then as very young people themselves they had lived through the war so hadn't realised this could be so shocking for me.

 

Not much more than a year later however I felt very grown up when my parents let me watch with them the serious of films on then like Hiroshima Mon Amour and Ashes and Diamonds with some quite explicit sexual scenes in. I was lucky in that I was able to discuss anything with them and felt they were affording me some degree of maturity which I very much respected at the time.

There was one film which thoroughly scared me though which I saw when about 12.....in those days no warnings were given about content etc....anyway this was the Spiral Staircase......and I looked in my wardrobe for yrs after before going tobed when feeling particularly spooked for some reason!

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I'm amazed at how liberal even middle-class parents are when it comes to what their children are allowed to watch on television or DVD. When my daughter was 5 or 6 the mother of one of her friends told me that her daughter watched Little Britain which she (the daughter) found very funny!

 

Spanner, I'm not suggesting that Giselle is unsuitable for children, but for some reason my daughter found it a bit frightening. For years she refused to read, or have read to her, stories about witches. However, she has always loved Harry Potter (books and films - though some of the films were a bit scary).

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As a child, I watched every ballet we had on video including Manon and Mayerling. And I mean, I was watching these at extremely young ages. I didn't understand any of the references, just looked like these men were throwing women around. I can understand not taking a child to a live performance (the gun shots made me jump and I'm 20!), but I think sexual scenes go completely over their heads

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My 11 eleven years watched Mayerling. I had prepared her a bit about the story but she was puzzled by the scene

of the wedding night.  However she enjoyed and the best time ever was to meet Thiago and Marienella at the

Stage Door. They were marvellous and so friendly.

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I can't believe what some children are allowed to watch, but the whole of society is becoming more extreme and when you realise what these kids have access to on their mobiles at just a couple of clicks away.....

 

And has anyone read any so-called 'teenage fiction' recently - stuff that is written for 14-16 year olds is totally unsuitable and is probably being read by those much younger.

 

So Mayerling is probably tame by comparison!

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I'm amazed at how liberal even middle-class parents are when it comes to what their children are allowed to watch on television or DVD. When my daughter was 5 or 6 the mother of one of her friends told me that her daughter watched Little Britain which she (the daughter) found very funny!

 

Spanner, I'm not suggesting that Giselle is unsuitable for children, but for some reason my daughter found it a bit frightening. For years she refused to read, or have read to her, stories about witches. However, she has always loved Harry Potter (books and films - though some of the films were a bit scary).

 

 

When my daughter was small she really didn't like Disney's Pinocchio, it gave her the creeps so much she hardly slept for days. I've sometimes found it really hard to tell what she will be fine with, and what will bring on an attack of the heebie-jeebies!

 

Little Britain - The adult content would have gone way over the head of the little girl; I expect she was just laughing at the funny men wearing ladies' clothes (cross-dressing always seems to give little kids hysterics for some reason) and putting on daft voices. 

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People keep saying that adult material goes over children's heads, but I'm not convinced. Firstly, it can be disturbing and I think that children instinctively know that there's something more to it than meets the eye. Secondly, children (at least the more curious ones) ask questions and I personally don't want to be put in the position of having to lie to or mislead my children. If I have to do that in order to make material palatable to my children then I would prefer not to expose them to it in the first place. However, as with most issues relating to children, every family has its own views and values and makes decisions accordingly.

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Yes Aileen, you're right - it does depend on parenting, and everyone has their own decisions to make. 

 

Whenever my daughter has asked 'awkward' questions I've merely answered them in the simplest factual way, using vocabulary suitable for her age and understanding at the time. I've never lied to her or tried to evade the question, as in my experience all this does is increase her curiosity!

 

What concerns me the most - in society at large - is the depiction of extreme aggression and violence (particularly in gaming), the current obsession that many teens have with vampires/occult and the unpleasantness of the dysfunctional relationships as in the soaps. Fortunately for me, my daughter loathes them all as much as I do.

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What concerns me the most - in society at large - is the depiction of extreme aggression and violence (particularly in gaming), the current obsession that many teens have with vampires/occult and the unpleasantness of the dysfunctional relationships as in the soaps.

 

... and the way people start thinking, because they see it on TV, that the latter is a "normal" way to behave and an appropriate way to run their own relationships :(.  I fear the soaps have a lot to answer for.

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Too right, Alison!

 

I was telling my dd about this thread in the car the other day, and we were talking about the soaps.

 

Murder, rape, incest, domestic violence, fraud, affairs, long-lost half-brothers/sisters appearing out of nowhere, shootings, random fires and plane crashes, Christmas Day births, fights, homophobia, agoraphobia, people falling off unlikely buildings.....

 

DD summed it all up (in the wonderfully succinct way that teenagers have)

 

"It's all cobblers, innit?!!!"

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Too right, Alison!

 

I was telling my dd about this thread in the car the other day, and we were talking about the soaps.

 

Murder, rape, incest, domestic violence, fraud, affairs, long-lost half-brothers/sisters appearing out of nowhere, shootings, random fires and plane crashes, Christmas Day births, fights, homophobia, agoraphobia, people falling off unlikely buildings.....

 

DD summed it all up (in the wonderfully succinct way that teenagers have)

 

"It's all cobblers, innit?!!!"

 

And all in one episode!!  I do love Emmerdale and still watch Coronation St but I hope I can still know what is real.....

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