Shakespeare ballet stuns on stage

PUBLISHED: 11:06 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 11:13 30 June 2016

Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew

Archant

The Bristol Hippodrome was left stunned last night (Wednesday) when the ballet adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew lit up the stage on opening night.

Shakespeare’s classic comedy was brought to life by the Birmingham Royal Ballet, accompanied by a live orchestra, in what was a thrilling evening of dance and classical music.

I must admit, my knowledge of ballet is pretty non-existent but for a first-time experience, I was truly blown away.

The talent on display was truly breath-taking and for all the incredible dancers, they were more than matched by their accompanying orchestra.

Unsurprisingly, there is no speech throughout the production with dance illustrating the story.

The cast evoke a range of emotions, showcasing their additional wealth of acting talent.

However, it may be useful to familiarise yourself with the story before enjoying this brilliant production.

The Taming of the Shrew follows the story of Katherina, son of Padua, who is feisty and certainly knows her own mind.

She is forced to marry ladies-man Petruchio - who is in it just for the money - and his bullying ways threaten to break Katherina.

With both these characters seemingly needing to be tamed - the development of their fraught relationship makes this production one that will have you laughing and, perhaps even, with a tear in your eye.

While the whole of the Birmingham Royal Ballet oozing finesse, the stand-out performer was undoubtedly Iain Mackey. He has been in and out of the company since 1999, as his portrayal of Petrucio was loveable.

Not only was his dancing beautiful but he made it look easy.

This performance incorporates a number of group numbers, as well as a pas de deux.

I will not pretend I originally knew what this term meant but I am reliably informed a pas de deux is a duo performance.

Iain Mackay and Elisha Willis combined beautifully as Katherina and Petruchio.

But one of the most memorable duos for me was the one between Katherina’s ‘vain’ sister Bianca, played by Jenna Roberts, and Lucentio, played by Brandon Lawrence.

The two fall in love after Bianca chooses him as her suitor their romance is expertly conveyed.

The Bristol Hippodrome fell in love with this performance, appreciating the musician’s efforts as well as the dancers.

I would certainly watch a ballet again and I would urge everyone to catch the show while you can.

The Taming of the Shrew will be at the Hippodrome from tonight (Thursday) until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each night and 2pm tonight and 2.30pm on Saturday,

Tickets, priced between £16.40-49.50, are available from www.atgtickets.com/bristol

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