So here’s a funny thing. Last Friday saw me going to the ballet not once, but twice. Only I could buy tickets for two different performances by Northern Ballet on the same day at the same theatre without even realising.. argh!
I bought tickets to take my eldest daughter to see Romeo and Juliet months and months ago. I must have ticked the box for promotional mail at the time and I got an email about a performance of The Tortoise and the Hare and couldn’t resist buying tickets for my youngest two despite it being on a school day – I figured I’d work that out later! So when the tickets arrived for both, I just squirreled them away ready to put the dates in my new diary come September (my brain works in school years not new years, I don’t know about you?) Anyway, it was when I came to fill in my new diary that I had realised what I had done.
Luckily, Mr Mostly could play chauffeur that day so it was just about doable but I think squeezing four train journeys into one day might have tipped me over my public transport limit. Especially with children in tow. We had our harvest festival that morning too so to say that it was a busy day would have been an understatement and I was in serious danger of dying from culture overload but what a way to go, hey?
It was the first time that I have ever taken my youngest two to the ballet. At eight and ten, they are still complete wriggle bums and struggle to sit through a film at the cinema but when I spotted this performance of The Tortoise and the Hare especially for children, it seemed too perfect an opportunity to turn down. I never ever take my children out of school for holidays or anything like that – they have to be dying before I even let them have a day off sick – so busting them out of school for the afternoon was the biggest thrill ever for them. Our headmaster gave his full permission of course and agreed that it would be a wonderfully educational experience.
They were probably the oldest children there, the theatre was full of mostly children on nursery trips but they didn’t care they absolutely loved it. We had front row seats down in the stalls so the view was amazing plus they got to have a nosey in the orchestra pit and take in the full beauty of the theatre before it began. They actually gasped out loud when the curtain raised and the ballet began then sat in complete awe for the whole forty minutes. It made me quite teary to see them enjoy something so much and I hope this will be the start of a love of ballet.
The evening performance of Romeo and Juliet was quite a different affair as you might imagine but I loved it every bit as much. My eldest daughter makes the best theatre companion and this is our second trip to see Northern Ballet. I took her to see The Nutcracker last Christmas which was hand on heart the most magical night of my life. Anyway, despite being up in the dizzying heights of the upper dress circle, we had an amazing time.
Going to the ballet is such a rare treat and I love that I get to share it with her. When you have a large family, it’s nice to be able to spend one on one time together – especially the older ones – they are such great company. She’s at an age now where she will actually be seen in public with me and even speak to me which is nice. She did tell me off afterwards though for hunting down my favourite dancer on Instagram. Spoilsport. Seriously, in the twenty-odd years that I have been going to the ballet I have never ever seen a dancer with stage presence quite like Mlindi Kulashe. And the rapturous applause he receives after every performance I have ever seen him in suggests that I’m not the only one to feel the same. Anyway, the teen thinks it is mortifying and has made me promise not to follow him or like any of his pictures because that would just be weird. Of course darling. Whatever you say.