Delicious, naughty humour, glorious music, whimsical costumes and totally engaging performances combine to create an ear to ear grin-making evening out.
Based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes , it helps not to actually know the wicked poems, here adapted by Donald Sturrock, as the twists in the tales are all the better when they come as a surprise (so I won’t give them away).
Each daft, clever rhyme comes as a delight especially spoken by the excellent new dancer Mark Griffiths while he is also dancing – and a nice mover he is too.
The company’s dancers create a menagerie of characters including Andrea Battaggia’s Stupid Wolf and Allegra Vianello’s Mean Wolf, Robbie Moorcroft’s hilarious Bad Grandma, and the sprightly and sparky Lydia Arnoux as the sassy Little Red Riding Hood.
We have lovely cameo animal roles from new Welsh dancer Gwenllian Davies as Sheep (she also plays the Good Grandma), Anna Pujol’s Pig, Robbie returning as the Big Fat Sow and the panto Cow from Dylan Waddell and Miguel Fernandes.
After the interval, the whimsy resumed with Griffiths speaking the lip-smacking lines: “The animal I really dig, above all others is the pig.”
Composer Paul Patterson’s music changes for this second tale which even beyond the lupine connections shares elements of Little Red Riding Hood and enables the dancers to leap, pirouette, flounce, and well, wiggle, flow through a magical carnival of styles in Darius James and Amy Doughty’s gloriously inventive choreography.
Vianello returns as that Bad wolf and the three pigs deliciously danced by three beautiful drawn characters: Daniel Morrison with is straw house; Anna Pujol and her sticks and twigs house and the canny third pig, Andalusian flavoured Senor Puerco from Miguel Fernandes.
When the rapacious Bad wolf is threatening who you gonna call? No, not Ghostbusters…..
In both tales the company dancers also form an ensemble role of forest sprites when they are not in cameo roles and the movement is clever, appealing and full of delights that will bring a smile to the faces of any age group.
Steve Denton has created fabulous and fantastical costumes for the characters (was that really a pork pie hat on the little pig?) and makes our handsome narrator a mercurial Circus Ring Master as he weaves the stories together.
The stylised set relies on lighting design from Chris Illingworth that entwines us in the gently twisted fairy tales.
For full tour details, visit welshballet.co.uk