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Birmingham Royal Ballet - Beauty and the Beast - Autumn Tour 2014


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Birmingham Royal Ballet's Autumn Tour opened last night at The Lowry with an outstanding performance of Beauty and the Beast.

 

Tyrone Singleton has an almost overwhelming stage presence as Beast.  He was vicious as the nasty Prince and then was incredibly moving (a terrific feat when dressed from head to toe in distressed fur!) as the Beast and then the transformed Prince.  His Belle was an incandescent Elisha Willis who gave a beautifully nuanced and ultimately moving performance.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one wiping away the tears not only at the end last night but also in the Act 1 duet and the pdd before Belle leaves to visit home..  They were glorious together!

 

Tzu Chao Chou was very fleet of foot as The Raven and Yaoqian Shang was a delight as the Wild Girl.  Samara Downs and Angela Paul hit just the right note as the selfish, dizzy sisters.  Michael O'Hare inhabited the role of The Merchant.  Jonathan Payn is HILARIOUS as M. Cochon (how does he do that with his nose????).

 

The whole company looked to be on splendid form, I particularly enjoyed the antics of the Engagement party guests and Jonathan Caguioa was terrific as the Hare at the Beast's party.

 

Well, I've got the rest of the week to enjoy now, so more after the weekend.

 

If you haven't yet got a ticket to see BRB you should immediately book one!

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Well I don't know how to express myself without being totally gushing.

 

I wasn't overly thrilled that Beauty and the Beast was back so soon after its last outing but goodness me, I have seen three casts in 2 days and they have all been outstanding!  I know people are always interested in cast recommendations but I would have to say that you NEED to see all of these casts.

 

Yesterday I saw Momoko Hirata/Yasuo Atsuji in the afternoon and Delia Mathews/Iain Mackay in the evening.  All three casts have imposed themselves on the roles - all with different nuances and all utterly wonderful!

 

The whole company is looking in fine fettle but I must praise Celine Gittens as one of the sisters - she has become a comedienne extraordinaire and just lights up the stage.  Jonathan Caguioa is a delight as the Hare in the ballroom scene.

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 I know people are always interested in cast recommendations but I would have to say that you NEED to see all of these casts.

 

 

That's good to know, since I bought my ticket in the time honoured *fingers crossed* method before casting will be announced

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I saw Beauty and the Beast one and a half times at The Lowry last week and enjoyed it.

 

I have now seen four Beauties and their Beasts and the are all very different

 

- Peter Darrell's for Scottish Ballet with Thea Musgrave's score just after it had moved from Bristol some 40 years ago

- David Nixon's for Northern Ballet three years ago which had some lovely choreography in the last Act and some great dancing by Leebolt

- Ballet Cymru's at Lincoln in June which I think is my favourite, and

- Birmingham Royal Ballet's last week with its sumptuous sets and great choreography and dancing.

 

On Friday I saw two of my favourites - Tyrone Singleton and Elisha Willis - in the title roles. In the Saturday matinee I watched Atsuji and Hirata whom I liked very much. Atsuji and Hirata danced the roles very differently from Singleton and Willis and I can now understand the point of watching back-to-back performances of the same ballet though as time and money do not grow on trees and I like a bit of diversity I won't be making a habit of it.   I also enjoyed tremendously Marion Tait as the granny. She has been dancing for as long as I've been following ballet and it's great to see her again.  I was not so keen on Buhr's score at first but it grew on me as I got used to it.

 

I am very excited about the revival of The Miracle in the Gorbals.  I've already seen a snippet of it at a gala many years ago.  It certainly justifies a trek down to the Smoke.

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Saw Saturday evening performance of Beauty And the Beast at Hippodrome. First time I've seen this ballet and really loved it: really magical, lovely production, got quite weepy at the end with the happy ending!!

BRB so fantastic right now. Delia Matthews and Iain Mackay danced Belle and Beast, superb. Rest of cast equally gorgeous and fabulous, especially Celine Gittens as one of the sisters!

I love The Hippodrome: such a lovely venue. I'm overjoyed to have realised it's so easy to get from my home in Nottingham to Birmingham and really get to know the amazing company that is BRB. Got that tip from people on this forum so I'm so happy and grateful! I'm back in Birmingham next Saturday for Shadows of War - can't wait!!

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Am looking forward to seeing this for the first time next week ......the Wednesday matinee at Sadlers.

 

I do hear however that there may be all sorts of strikes going on in London next week so will have to keep fingers crossed transport isn't affected :(

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Am looking forward to seeing this for the first time next week ......the Wednesday matinee at Sadlers.

 

I do hear however that there may be all sorts of strikes going on in London next week so will have to keep fingers crossed transport isn't affected :(

 

I gather there's some sort of Tube strike scheduled between the Tuesday and the Thursday.  You mean there are others?

 

I can manage without tubes for most places I go to regularly in London, but unfortunately Sadler's Wells really isn't one of them: buses to anywhere usable for me take forever, and make it difficult to know when I can get up there, too.

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Last time the tubes were out it took me two hours by bus from Victoria to,the Angel!!

If you are coming into Kings Cross however then it shouldn't be too bad and would take about half an hour to walk from there.

 

I'm thinking of coming in by Capital Coast Connect to Kings Cross from Brighton myself now as it does .....or should ....make the journey that bit easier hopefully!

I'm out at mo but will look at ticket to see where sitting .......I think it's upstairs though in row J in the circle.

As I'm going again on the Saturday to the matinee for Shadows of War programme I got a good deal on booking the two seats at same time and it's the same seat both times too!!

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Meant to say Alison that I believe there are strikes on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday from different sectors of workers and now the tube strike Tuesday -Thursday

One can get around on the bus but it takes forever especially crossing that Central London bit and there are road works near Holborn as it is so could well be quicker to walk!!

It's a long way to walk from Victoria to Sadlers Wells but not so far from Kings Cross so I would suggest anyone coming up from the Sussex area changes at East Croydon and gets Capital a Coast Connect direct to Kings Cross /St Pancras International.

It's a much shorter bus journey from there and can be walked anyway in about 20-30 mins.

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Yes, just get Southern up from the Brighton area or it'll take all day if you use those Thameslinks (or whatever they're calling them this month).  That's a good idea: I ought to be able to change onto a Thameslink somewhere myself.

 

Actually, isn't Farringdon a better stop for Sadler's Wells?  I've never tried it myself.

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There's probably not much in it walking wise but Farringdon is another choice.

There are probably more buses up to the Angel from Kings Cross though. The ones I know off the top of my head are the 73, 30, and 214 but I know there are others!!

 

Anyway on that day the beauty will be the ballet and the beast the travelling to it!!

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I was at the matinee on Thursday afternoon.  It was my 9th and final performance watching this current run!

 

I find it hard to believe that I have enjoyed this production so much this time around (I enjoy it but its not a favourite).  I think David Bintley has found almost the perfect cast combinations.

 

Maureya Lebowitz and Brandon Lawrence took the honours on Thursday afternoon.  They were just out of this world and I was weeping buckets during the beautiful final duet.

 

Max Maslen was superb as the Raven, his hands and arms are particularly beautiful.  Laura Day was enchanting as the Wild Girl.

 

Lewis Turner was a lovely cheeky hare in the ballroom scene.  In fact all the dancers looked like they were having fun being naughty in the ballroom scene.  I just wish I knew which dancers I was looking at!

 

This ballet is also populated with character miniatures that David Bintley is so good at creating.  The bailiffs henchmen are a case in point; Jonathan Caguoia is just hilarious!  The scene with the wedding guests is also rib-ticklingly funny.  Laura Purkiss and Rull Brill as Belle's vain and selfish sisters were pitch perfect.  James Barton has perfect comic timing as M Cochon.

 

A great afternoon made even more pleasurable by bumping into a couple of Forum members by chance! 

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