Goldilocks and the Three Bears review at Wolverhampton Grand
 

 

Goldilocks and Bluebird

Goldilocks and The Three Bears

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

*****

Northern Ballet have produced a wonderful introduction to not only ballet but theatre with this delightful creation of the well-loved tale.

It is bright and cheerful, with moments of fun, beautifully danced with enough en pointe to keep little girls with dreams of being ballerinas in tutu’s enthralled and enough fun and athleticism to keep the interest of future Billy Elliots – and with enough of a story to keep everyone happy.

Choreographer and director Nicola Gervasi has added a couple of new characters to the mix with, in this performance, Lorenzo Trosello as Bluebird and Natalia Kerner as both Goldilock’s mother and the Fox.

Trosello gives us an athletic bird, who, with a different costume and different score would not be out of place as the handsome prince, while Kerner is a more dainty, friendly fox, with not a hint of slyness or show of teeth.

Their part comes after Goldilocks, danced delightfully by Kiara Flavin, helps her mother, Natalia Kerner again, make a cake, although perhaps hinders might be more accurate after she tries to add pepper to the batter.

But as she goes off to play she meets the Bluebird and off they go to the forest where they meet the Fox and decide to play hide and seek.

Meanwhile we have three bears, with enough costume (Kim Brassley and Carley Marsh) to show they are bears but not enough to frighten the children, or act as a mobile sauna for dancing, so we have Alex Yap as Daddy Bear, who got in a mess, and plenty of laughs, trying to lay a table cloth, Mariana Rodrigues as Mother Bear and Filippo DiVilio as the mischievous Little Bear.

 

The trio work well together, heading for a walk in the forest, and playing ball, while their porridge cools down. And that was their fatal mistake.

Remember the hide and seek? Goldilocks finds the bears' house and explores, finishing off the porridge, wrecking a chair, and sleeping in everyone’s bed which doesn’t endear her to family bear but the anger doesn’t last long and they all head off to Goldilock’s house as friends for a final dance and hopefully some of that cake mum was making.

The story is familiar enough and Northern provide free programme sheets with a synopsis on one side so no one is lost and a picture to colour and two puzzles on the reverse.

At 45 minutes it is long enough to tell the story yet not too long to stray beyond young attention spans and it is always fun, friendly and tuneful with music from John Longstaff, played live by members of the Northern Ballet Sinfonia. There are no dark moments or scenes that will frighten or need much explanation.

Jane Cecchi’s set is bright, cheerful and cartoonish and the whole effect from dance, music, set and costumes is a pleasure to watch.

Incidentally Northern’s artistic director of Short Ballets for Small People is Daniel de Andrade, the director and choreographer of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which is the evening performance at the Grand.

This was a ballet adapted and televised by CBeebies, which perhaps increased its appeal, but anything that brings children into theatres, or encourages parents or grandparents to take them, is to be applauded.

Children are the next generation of theatre goers and ballet fans and shows like this can only help encourage them to return – preferably without the constant rustling chorus of cellophane and sweet wrappers next time!

Roger Clarke

30-05-17  

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