Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hampson's Hänsel and Gretel comes to Newcastle

Hänsel and Gretel and the Witch
Illustration Arthur Rackham
Source Wikipedia

I know not why, but Dawson's Swan Lake comes to Liverpool 29 May 2016 is my most popular article. It has attracted 10,374 page views including 276 today. It is a preview of David Dawson's Swan Lake which Scottish Ballet was about to perform in Liverpool. It also mentioned Christopher Hampson's on stage promotion of Bethany Kingsley-Garner and Constance Devernay to principal ballerinas which has proved enormously popular as their elevation was well deserved, but I still don't have a clue why the internet has taken such an interest in that post. It has had far more attention than the actual review of Dawson's Swan Lake though it was far from an unfriendly one.

So, chums, I am following the same formula substituting "Hampson" for "Dawson", "Hänsel and Gretel" for "Swan Lake" and "Liverpool" for "Newcastle."  
"No chance," growls Chip the Dog on Crosby sands with mistress in tow. "Newcastle isn't Liverpewel."
Well, we shall see. Newcastle is a great city with a great theatre and a great love of dance (see Dance in Newcastle 4 Nov 2016.

Certainly, the Novocastrians have packed out the Theatre Royal well in advance for every performance. I am aways happy to learn that a company has filled a theatre and particularly so when that company is Scottish Ballet who are the first company that I got to know and love and who will always enjoy a special place in my affection. Not just for old times sake because I knew them in their Bristol days when they danced Mods and Rockers to the Beatles but for what they have become with some of our nation's finest dancers under the direction of an outstanding choreographer.

For Hampson is outstanding. I defy anyone to sit dry-eyed through Storyville. or not to be uplifted by his Four; or enraptured by his Perpetuum Mobile. His Cinderella which I saw in Edinburgh was magnificent. His  Hänsel and Gretel which I saw in Glasgow in Dec 2013 was a delight. All my favourites were in that show.  The production has received excellent reviews from the Scottish critics as it made its way from Edinburgh to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. The company is off to Northern Ireland after it briefly visits us.

As I said above, Scottish Ballet's season in Newcastle has been a sellout; but in case there is a return they are at the Theatre Royal on Gray Street from Wednesday to Saturday.

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