I’ve been meaning to go and see one of Scottish Ballet‘s Christmas productions for years, but never seem to have quite got round to it. This year, however, the lovely Ballet ladies invited me along to a special bloggers event so I gladly took them up on their offer of afternoon tea at Blythswood Square followed by a matinee performance of this year’s ballet, Hansel & Gretel. I used to go to the ballet with my granny when I was wee, so I was really looking forward to it – and Hansel & Gretel managed to successfully deliver a healthy dose of childlike wonderment.
The ballet tells the familiar story of Hansel and Gretel, a brother and sister duo who are lured into a gingerbread house by a wicked witch who just happens to have a soft spot for cooking and eating children. As the story is such a well known one, it’s really easy to follow what’s happening during the performance, even if you get distracted by the sparkly costumes, beautiful sets and flawless dancing. I think the costumes were my favourite part, I loved the ’50s style to everything – the ravens in a T Birds-esque gang, the mum’s glittering Grace Kelly inspired ballgown, the witch’s hornrimmed spectacles and tulle skirts. I loved the scenes set in the woods with the twinkling stars in the background and the witch making her entrance perched on top of a crescent moon – all very spooky and dreamy and just my kinda thing. The performance lasted just under two hours but it seemed to be over in a flash, the dancers managed to hold my attention throughout and the whole performance was beautifully enchanting.
Before heading along the the ballet at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, we were treated to some cocktails and afternoon tea at Blythswood Square, as well as a little Q&A with a couple of cast members and a behind-the-scenes look at some of the costumes. Blythswood Square have created a special Hansel & Gretel themed afternoon tea in honour of Scottish Ballet’s production, and it’s available until the 31st January. We tucked into an array of sandwiches, followed by lots of sweet treats including popping candy carrot cake, gingerbread men, raspberry macaroons, mini caramel eclairs, marshmallow lollipops and, of course, some scones. I also loved the Woodcutter’s Wife cocktail which was inspired by the fairytale, it combined gin, lemon juice, lemon curd, ginger syrup and candied peach puree to create a lovely sweet, but not sickly, festive drink.
I really enjoyed the performance of Hansel & Gretel and would definitely recommend going to see it. It was nice to do something a little bit different, I really need to make the effort to go to the theatre more often! Scottish Ballet will be touring over the festive period, so you can catch Hansel & Gretel in the following places:
If you fancy getting an exclusive preview of the ballet, Scottish Ballet are doing a live behind the scenes webcast at 4.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday 18th). You can watch the dancers warming up, see the props up close and hear creator Christopher Hampson answer some questions about Hansel & Gretel – tune in here!
Have you been to see any Scottish Ballet productions?