The Northern Ballet have brought all the glitz and glam from the 1920’s to the Mayflower Theatre this week as they perform their much loved Great Gatsby. I was invited along to the press evening last night to review the show. This was the second time I have gone to watch a ballet, my first experience was a couple of years ago, to see Matthew Bourne’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. I had my reservations about returning to watch another ballet as I found that rather boring.
For those of you not familiar with the Great Gatsby, it originates from a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and was later produced into a motion picture. The northern ballet has now adapted the story into one of their most popular ballets. The story follows a cast of characters, but has a focus on the mysterious character of Jay Gatsby; the story is told by his neighbour Nick Carraway and is set in long island, New York, during the roaring 1920’s, when the great American dream with booming.
The northern Ballet fills the Mayflower with whimsical dance, extraordinary score, and total decadence of the roaring 20s in the drama packed performance. Full of drama with parties, sex, more parties, affairs and death!
I was pleasantly surprised by this ballet; it was a really up beat, fast tempo style ballet, completely different from the previous style I watched. I loved that they incorporated other dance elements into the performance to match the times and story. The Charleston Party scene was probably my favourite scene in the whole ballet. But I did enjoy the tango scene too. As a Ballet newbie, and having only briefly read the synopsis of the Great Gatsby shortly before arriving at the performance, I found this easy to follow, thoroughly enjoyable and amusing throughout. I was sat in in the circle and had a great view of the orchestra underneath the stage, I could not help but gaze over at them, as I was utterly mesmerised by the music at points.
I also learned is that the Northern Ballet are more than just a ballet company, they are also a charity who hope to inspire people of all ages, and background to experience ballet through their community outreach work, and training the dancers of tomorrow in their studio in Leeds. By watching and supporting the Northern Ballet, we can help them achieve their goal of making ballet available to everyone. You can find out more information on their website here.
The Great Gatsby is performing at the Mayflower Theatre until the 18th of May. If you are tempted to try out a ballet, I would highly recommend this one. You can buy tickets online from the Mayflower Theatre here!
*Tickets were gifted for review purposes. All views are unbiased and my own.