Review: Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella

There are three options when presenting a Christmas ballet, especially Cinderella… Appeal to those for whom this kind of theatre visit is a rarity – or indeed a one off. Fill it with glitz, glitter and every familiar trope and expectation of the dearly loved story, complete with opulent costumes and epic, grandiose sets. Second, take a fresh look at the narrative with a starker, darker, more real and arty interpretation, likely to please frequent ballet goers who tire of samey, traditional versions of well known classics they’ve seen so many times. Third, do something in between. Scottish Ballet’s 2018 festive offering takes this latter option and while it’s undoubtedly impressive, I fear the middle ground doesn’t quite leave us satisfied.

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Review: Nativity! the Musical

Coventry meets Hollywood in Nativity! the Musical, a festive explosion of joy, glitter and feel good escapism. It’s fairly impossible not to leave with a smile on your face after a couple of hours in the company of this energetic cast, made up of largely, small children. Nativity! was of course a hit British film, with two sequels, now reincarnated as a stage production.

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Review: Macbeth

Rufus Norris’ production of Macbeth gets off to a great start. The dark, grand scale set is suitably bleak and atmospheric. Three witches clamber to the top of poles almost the height of the proscenium arch. As they hang and slide with inhuman grace and their unnerving voices echo through the theatre, we begin to witness a high-brow production that’s well suited to a pre-halloween week run.

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Review: Calendar Girls

There’s a particular joy to be found in films, TV and theatre pieces that celebrate the relationships, determination and humour of womankind. Calendar Girls captures the essence of this with gusto and alacrity. Its upbeat, yet poignant portrayal of a bunch of WI members experiencing life beyond youth, brings us fun and laughter, but importantly, a sense of hope and worth.

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