Wednesday, 29 October 2014

ANNIE by Nottingham Operatic Society
Nottingham Theatre Royal

If you want to get those Christmassy juices flowing then this musical will do it for you, for several reasons. Not only the finale with the big Christmas Tree, snow, lights and presents but for that lovely warm feeling inside that this wonderful musical will leave you with, as you vacate the theatre.

"Annie" is the story of the little orphan who was dumped on the steps of an orphanage in 1922. Fast forward to 1933 and Annie has had enough of orphan life and decides to run away from the horrendous Miss Hannigan, who is in charge of the place. This escape fails and she is brought back by the police, but that is when her fortunes change and she is invited to stay with the billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Warbucks wants to adopt Annie but Annie wants to find her real parents. With the help of Oliver Warbucks, the truth is revealed about her past, and where her future lies.

There are two "Annies" taking turns to be orphaned this week and I saw Tilly Greentree on the opening evening performance, but knowing of the other Annie, Rosie Bentham, I know that whichever young actress you see, you will be in for a treat. Tilly has a beautiful clear voice and has great stage presence with just the right amount of cheek and attitude, appropriate to the role.

I have seen a few different performances of "Annie" and therefore a few different Miss Hannigans. I have seen Su Pollard playing Miss Hannigan and I have also seen Ruth Madoc playing Miss Hannigan. Tonight I saw Miss Hannigan played by Kate Williams.

Now for the eagle eyed readers you may have noticed a slightly different wording there, and this is deliberate because, while I have seen well known names being Miss Hannigan, tonight I saw Miss Hannigan as she should be portrayed. Not as the lush or the comedy characterization of someone who disliked the orphan kids, but the Miss Hannigan who leans more towards Cruella DeVille who likes a drink. A subtle difference between the Nottingham Operatic Society (NOS) version and any other version, and for me, Kate Williams played the role just right. the best Miss Hannigan I have ever seen. Not forgetting that Kate has a cracking voice as well as providing some marvellous facial expressions for the role!

Oliver Warbucks was played with just a slightly softer edge than some portrayals I have seen, and the perfect person to play this role was NOS regular, Simon Theobald, who actually decided to have his head shaved for his art as opposed to wearing a skull cap. Another actor with a wonderful voice and the light and shade of his singing tones are lovely to listen to.

Another character who I can't remember sticking out for me in any other production I have seen was Grace Farrell. She is the secretary to Warbucks, who sought out  the orphan to spend Christmas with him. Emma Shute played Grace and  think I will remember Emma for a while. Gorgeous to look at and what a beautiful voice.

Some sterling performances from Drew Dennis as Rooster, one of the baddies of the play and Alice Hands, as Lily, Rooster's partner in crime.

And then there are the kids. What gusto! What enthusiasm! What confidence! What voices! Such a strong team of young actors who in a few years will see some, if not all of them taking lead roles in musicals, I can see it now!

Not forgetting Sandy the dog, played by Whiz. The tail said it all. He/she seemed so happy to be taking part in "Annie" and the audience adoration (or should that be appaws) echoed around the walls of the theatre. This must have been a trip down memory lane for Whiz as he/she was unwanted by a previous owner and was adopted but that story also had a happy ending.

The songs you will know, "Tomorrow", "It's A Hard Knock Life" and "Maybe" as well as a song that I couldn't recall from past productions, "New Deal For Christmas"

Great sets, on point choreography from Lisa Lee, a wonderful orchestra under the direction of Stephen Williams, some smooth scenery and prop changes from the backstage crew all went to make this one of the best musicals I have seen at the Nottingham Theatre Royal for a while. Total professionalism from every one involved, whatever their age. It felt like I was watching a cinematic version of a big Hollywood blockbuster musical it was all so smooth and glossy, and you really could appreciate the hard work the Nottingham Operatic Society, as always in my experience, put into their shows.

"Annie" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 1 November 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

ANYTHING GOES by Beeston Musical Theatre Group
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton.

I am a sucker for a happy ending and with this musical you get three weddings and no funeral. You know you can't go wrong with the wonderful word craftsman that is Cole Porter. There's a whole bunch of classics like "It's DeLovely". "Friendship". "Easy To Love" "I Get A Kick Out Of You", "You're The Top". "The Gypsy In Me" and of course the title track for you to choose from to hum as you leave the theatre, which makes a change as many musicals only have one song that sticks in the mind to spill out into the streets to.

Making his directorial debut for BMTG was Nathan Truesdale who can say that he started at  the top as this production is, as the song says "The Tops", swift moving, funny, great tap and dance routines choreographed by Rachael Rees and a wonderfully swinging live band led by musical director Chris Toon, all adding to an excellent cast of singers and hoofers.

I will highlight some of the actors but everyone in this large cast were just amazingly good. I adored Andrea Chapman as Reno, lovelorn for Billy but she got her man in the end, but not the one that she had thought at the start. Some great costumes for Reno, and in fact for all the girls, what class and the sexiest Evangelist I have ever seen!

Billy Crocker was played by Rob Charles, looking ever younger in the wig for the part.His voice has grown stronger from his last BMTG production of "Jukebox" and may I say, these songs really suited his voice, some nice falsetto work there mate and a classy romantic leading  man role. For those who do not know the musical, Billy is in love with Hope, who is on board to marry her typically English suitor Lord Oakleigh,True love never runs smoothly but Billy gets his gal in the end.

Hope, is played by the gorgeous Zoe Brinklow, who also gets some amazing costumes to wear, and Lord Oakleigh almost steals the whole show with his wonderfully eccentric behaviour and typically British persona; all the work of the very talented Kevin Chatten, who had the ladies in the seats next to me chuckling away so much that I had to check whether they had left any wet patches on their seats when they left!

Chris Bryan debuted as a principal in the role of "Moonface", the gangster who befriended Billy and along with his "moll" Erma, played by Steph Gray-Blest made a great comedy pairing.Chris is another strong voice, who you may also catch doing open mic around the area as well.

As I said, these are just a few of the stand out performers that BMTG are lucky to have in their society, but the whole cast work as one, which can be seen especially well with the big tap number.

Just one thing to mention, the spot light seemed to have a bit of trouble finding the actor at times but this didn't detract from the excellent production that The Beeston Musical Theatre Group have to offer all this week until Saturday 1 November 2014.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

SWEENEY TODD by Nottingham Medics
Nottingham Arts Theatre

If you take on a Sondheim musical you need to fully commit and throw every thing you've got into it, and that is what we have in this production, and this was echoed by the full auditorium with the largest and loudest roar I have heard from an audience for a very long time.

They said that they realised it was a challenge but boy did they rise to the challenge, grabbed it by the throat and ran with it.

"Sweeney Todd" as we all know is the story of the barber who went away and then returned to reap his revenge on Judge Turpin who had sentenced him, took in his daughter and sent his wife crazy, Todd slicing the throats of innocent victims along the way.

A large cast which worked so well together that when in their groups did not seem as large as they were due to the blending and working so close with their neighbour, a seamless group of professionalism.

The music, well it is Sondheim, is not the easiest to get your vocal chords around with their intricate key changes and lyrics, clever as they are, but this talented group of medical students just seemed to master it with ease, I know that this won't have been the case but the end product created that image.

And what a brilliant group of musicians under the musical direction of Oliver McCallion. They created a very professional sound, well complemented by the main vocalists. OK maybe not everyone had the best voices and there were just a few bum notes but you know what, that didn't matter because of the massive entertainment value.

Whoever opted for the job in charge of casting wants a medal because the casting was absolutely spot on. "Todd" was brilliantly played with just the right level of menace and malice by Chris Hatchcroft, and what a great musical theatre voice he has, Surprisingly this is his first ever musical, well I hope that it won't be his last.

Mrs Lovett, the pie maker extraordinaire, was played by Fiona Wells, both Chris and Fiona headlining a wonderful and talented cast. Another smooth voice belonged to John Wardlaw as Anthony, the sailor who fell in love with Todd's daughter, Johanna, and rescued her from the asylum. What a beautiful rendition of "Johanna" which had the audience applauding before the music had ended.

Not one bad performer on show here and if the medical side of their intended professions go awry, I feel that they all could branch out into theatre.

In conclusion, this is up there with the other "Sweeney Todd"s that I have seen and you will not be disappointed with this group. If the tickets sell as well as they have done for opening night, well you better get them fast because the rest of the shows could well be a sell out.

"Sweeney Todd" is being performed at the Nottingham Arts Theatre until Saturday 25 October 2014.

http://www.nottingham-theatre.co.uk/natmain2/index.php/component/natoscar/95?view=show

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

RAMBERT
Nottingham Theatre Royal

Not only do you get one dance performance with this show, you get four, The Castaways, Dutiful Ducks, Sounddance and Rooster.

The show, for me personally, was a bit hit and miss. I enjoyed the first section, "The Castaways" as a group of diverse people  who are spied upon and controlled, so it seems, from a large industrial metal rectangular shaft, a bit like an air vent in a warehouse which delivered parcels every now and again. A touch of the Big Brother there. The dance looks, and I'm not sure if it was meant to, not as synchronised as it maybe should have been, but this didn't last for long as the synchronicity soon kicked in and the pairs soon began to dance as one.

The second dance, after the first break, was short and used a clever multi tracked voice to produce a piece for Adam Blyde to perform some almost tradition ballet moves to, called "Dutiful Ducks". This section was choreographed by Richard Alston, a big name in dance and ballet for anyone who didn't know. A bare stage meant that you concentrated totally on Adam.

Part three was the part which I really could not get my head round. There was no music, only sound effects on what seemed to be a loop which sounded like crickets. I may be wrong but that's what it sounded like. To my untrained eye it just looked like a warm up session at the dance gym and just a touch too contemporary for me.

But come section four which I absolutely loved. Contemporary dance to the music of The Rolling Stones. Absolutely mesmerising and your eyes were glued to the dancers and the stage. their moves told the story of the song and were brilliantly hypnotic. Just a shame that some of the people in the audience didn't decide to stay for this excellent section of the show after the third part.

I imagine that it is entirely up to the individual as to how they decipher the story through dance for all of these sections, and what I understood to be the story may not have been what the person next door gleaned from it. And that is the magic of contemporary dance. What I also imagine may have been in the mind of the choreographer when he dreamt up the individual parts of this entertaining show was to allow the audience member to make of the pieces what they will instead of trying to enforce a certain storyline.

Whatever you think of the dance or the music you cannot take away from the dancers the incredibly structured discipline they go through for their art. Some great costumes and some fine comic moments in "The Castaways"as well as some emotional moves in that "Rooster" section.

Rambert can be seen at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Thursday 23  October

Thursday, 16 October 2014

AN EVENING WITH CARL FROCH
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

The event was staged by Nottingham City Council to present one of Nottingham's top athletes and sporting legend, Carl "The Cobra" Froch with The Honoroury Freeman of The City of Nottingham, which allows Carl to parade his sheep over Trent Bridge, among other things.

The evening started with a visual history lesson of some of Carl's best fights and the unveiling of the Carl Froch tram. The video footage left out his time on "Tumble" and his TV dancing career as well as his guitar playing and no sign of his love of karaoke, so let's stick to the sport, the subject that we know and love "The Cobra" for.

Presented by Radio 5 Live presenter Darren Fletcher, the evening started off a bit shaky with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham repeating the script Darren had just read out as an introduction and then losing his way with the script, we finally got to the presentation and the signing of the official documents, and then what we were all waiting for, the chat with Carl in the middle of the mock up boxing ring on the stage of the Royal Concert Hall.

A fascinating look behind the scenes of some of the big fights, Carl's inner feelings about Hagler, Groves, Kessler, his love of snooker, the legendary Brian Clough, his pre fight rituals and what the future may hold for him, The pride he feels for Nottingham and the fans that have supported him throughout, all pieced together with videos of some of his highlights of his 35 professional fights and his 33 wins.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

WITCHES OF EASTWICK
by Erewash Musical Society

What a devilishly good musical being performed at The Duchess Theatre at Long Eaton by The Erewash Musical Society and what a stroke of genius casting Adam Richmond as Darryl Von Horne, aka the devil himself.

And what a horny little devil he is as well! Arrogant and over confident and self appointed God's gift to the female form, that is Darryl Von Horne, not Adam Richmond. Played with pure (pure?) conviction he cast a spell over the audience as well as the three Eastwick witches, Alexandra ( Alexandra Taverner), Jane (Stephanie Smart) and Sukie ( Rachael Brown).

And there's another spell binding piece of casting, three sexy Witches and a good looking devil! And oh boy does he have a devil of a time with these three once he has them under his spell!

Von Horne who stakes his place as the newcomer of Eastwick and sets out to ruffle the feathers of the Eastwick know all and busy body, Felicia Gabriel ( Gill Cooke) and succeeds with grisly results. Our three Witches feel that things are going too far and decide to give him the collective heave ho, which is when Von Horne decides to seduce Jennifer Gabriel (Gemma Blake), the daughter of the now deceased Mr and Mrs Gabriel, and also the ex girlfriend of Michael Spofford ( Zak Charlesworth). But things do not turn out the way that Von Horne planned on his wedding day.....

An excellent cast and some really catchy songs. I heard a few leaving the theatre singing and humming "Dance With The Devil", some good sets and wow, what costumes for the Witches! (Do you get the impression that I was taken by our three ladies?). Great choreography by Kris Cunningham and a very tight band led by Dave Dallard.

Some witty one liners and clever word play in the script but for me the show was let down just a bit , not by anyone on stage , but by the technical crew. There were sound problems, mainly in the first half but these reared up again in the second half with microphone issues. the lighting was also a bit skewiff with spots sometimes having the actors in shadow or at times no light at all, which having seen the professional production a few years back with Marti Pellow as Von Horne, I know that this wasn't the way the lighting should have been for this musical. Day three and this should not have been an issue!

One other thing that also took the enjoyment off of the evening was the temperature in the theatre. It was so cold in there and they had the fans on. You really should not need to sit in your coat in the theatre to be at a comfortable temperature.

Gripes aside though, this is one hell of a good musical and if I can add just one more thing. I always look at the ensemble and while all of them gave their all, there was one who gave their all plus a bit more and he really stood out for me and I think deserves a mention. I hope that I've got the right actor but Hayden Fletcher, brilliant enthusiasm and oomph every time you were on stage. I think you will go a long way with the attitude you presented.

"Witches Of Eastwick" is at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton until Saturday 11 October.

CALAMITY JANE
Nottingham Theatre Royal

Yeehaaw! y'all. Calamity Jane, that tomboy cowgirl rolls into town and spreads fun and song, and just a little mischief in this "sky highest, smile widest, wild 'n' woosiest western musical of 'em all".

Set mainly in the bar room of The Golden Garter in Deadwood, the regulars want a performance from Adelaide Adams, the beauty depicted on the collectable cigarette cards of the time, and the object of everybody’s affections. Jane is going to ‘Chicargi’ to see her and bring her back with her, after the last act to play The Golden Garter, "Frances Fryer" actually turns out to be Francis Fryer, a male act who is definitely no replacement for the lovely Frances they had been expecting!

Jane is too late to catch Adelaide who has left to tour Europe, and due to a case of mistaken identity she asks Adelaide’s maid Katie, to return to Deadwood with her to perform at The Golden Garter. When Katie's cover is blown due to an onset of nerves, Katie wins over the crowd and stays in Deadwood, and in the process wins the heart of Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin away from Jane. Jealousy kicks in with Jane but there is a happy ever after in the end, for more than Jane.

West End regular Jodie Prenger, plays tomboy Jane and boy does she look like she is having a rooting tooting time of it all, she even gets to snog Wild Bill Hickok, played by Tom Lister. Tom, since being killed off in "Emmerdale" has managed to carve a nice career on stage, having recently been seen in Leicester at The Curve Theatre in "The Water Babies - The Musical" among other things.

Some may have worried about placing an ex soapie like Tom in a musical, but many may not know that Tom is also a might fine singer with his own band called "Edna's Hat", and while the band's repertoire may not be of the musical ilk, he can really hold a note, play guitar and percussion as well while on stage.He makes a pretty convincing line dancer as well!

Most of the cast also provide the music for the show, playing their instruments during the show while acting and dancing. And oh the dancing! Some great choreography here by Nick Winston and a brilliant set design by Matthew Wright.

Some great songs in there like "The Deadwood Stage", "The Black Hills Of Dakota"
"I Can Do Without You", "The Windy City", "Higher Than A Hawk" and of course "Secret Love", sang with great emotion by the wonderful Ms Prenger.

You will leave the theatre with at least one of these songs in your head I promise.

"Calamity Jane" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 11 October 2014

Monday, 6 October 2014

FOR SERVICES RENDERED
Nottingham Lace Market theatre

For Services Rendered is a play by Somerset Maughan. First performed in London in 1932, The play is (apparantly) about the effects of World War I on an English family.The anti-war message was not popular with audiences back then, and the play only ran for 78 performances, which shows that audiences in 1932 probably found the play as entertaining as I did.

I always say that a play has to leave you feeling some kind of emotion by the end, but I'm sorry to say that this play left me feeling nothing but confused. Is confusion an emotion?

The effects from World War 1 was just a minor thread, and I would not have said that this theme was in any way major, more so was the mental state of the middle class Ardsley family. I couldn't really warm to any of Maughan's characters apart from Sydney, the blind son whose wartime service was cut short due to his being blinded in action. Sydney, played by Chris Sims, had some wonderfully cutting lines to deliver. The Downton Dame Maggie of this play and this certainly lifted the slightly depressing feel.

Depressing? Yes There is suicide, unfaithfulness, deceit, greed. Oh my God Thanks to Sydney for the light humour! I'm sorry I just could not get excited about this even though the set was wonderful (I want a living room like theirs complete with the French doors) and the actors really did do their best with what I thought was a pretty drab script. There was one section though where one of the actors broke the fourth wall several times, which was out of character with all of the other characters in the play and raised the play to panto level. Something that should have been picked up maybe in rehearsal by the director.

I also didn't understand the rapid turn of emotions of Eva as one minute she was distraught beyond emotion over the death of one of the characters, and was carted off to her room inconsolable, and the next minute she had got changed and was doing her best impression of a looney with visions of dead people coming back to announce wedding plans. Where was the gradual build up?

I hate to be negative in my reviews but for me, honesty is the key, and these are my own personal views. I just thought that the play was not a strong one and one that should not have been picked at all.The actors performed well, gave their all and looked like they were well into the eccentricities of their characters, but it just was not for me I'm afraid. Go make your own mind up though!

"For Services Rendered" is on at the Nottingham Lace Market theatre until Saturday 11 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

JOSH KEMP'S AUTUMN SHOWCASE
Springfield Hall, Sandiacre.

Take a group of ridiculously talented singers and a ridiculously talented music tutor and you are guaranteed an evening of musical aural gorgeousness.

Josh Kemp and his band of merry students put on an absolute brilliant evening of song which felt like a virtual hug from a long lost friend. There was music from lesser known musicals like Jason Robert Brown's "Parade" and "13", "Wicked", Sondheim's "Into the Woods", "Miss Saigon", Disney's "Hercules" and the best song from "Ghost The Musical", "With You", sang beautifully by Emma.

Josh also showcased his own little showcase of some of the music that he has been working on including a couple of tracks from his forthcoming Chatterbox E.P. due out at the end of this month called "Stupid Cupid" and "Four Letters". there was also a first airing for a new song from a musical that Josh is working on about the Brothers Grimm, called "Grimm", and if this teaser called "Let Me Go" is anything to go by, I can't wait to hear the full production. All this plus something very special in the form of a six piece harmony choral piece to commemorate the start of the First World War, which was so evocative.

Throw into the mix a beautiful version of Lakme's "The Flower Duet" by Rachel and Emma, a rousing version of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and a slightly nervous version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Josh's newest recruits Martin and Meg,Singing in front of a crowd is bound to make any one nervous, and I for one am in awe of anyone who has the guts to do what these lot did tonight, so be proud of what you have done, because I would not have had the guts to!.

So to Jess, Chloe Hopcroft, Graham, Erin, Rachel, Emma, Martin, Meg, Adam Guest, Tom Hopcroft, Becky Morley and Josh Kemp, I salute you and thank you for an amazingly entertaining night of music and the conversations afterwards.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

THE (IN)COMPLETE WORKS OF SONDHEIM
Osker Productions at Antenna Media Centre

I know tonight I must have said how much I love Sondheim soooo many times but I'm afraid it is true, and tonight's one off performance is to raise funds for Musicworks. Musicworks promotes all forms of music events and musicians who wish to perform in any setting. And talking of settings the Antenna Media Centre on Beck Street in Nottingham is a lovely laid back setting for such a wonderful musical tribute.

Stephen Sondheim, for me, is one of the best songwriters and composers of the modern musical era; his music spanning over 50 years. Many may say that they are unaware of Sondheim's catalogue but I bet you're not. He wrote some of the music for "West Side Story", "Gypsy", "Anyone Can Whistle","Follies","A Little Night Music", "Sweeney Todd" and "Into The Woods" among may others. His songs have been recorded by the greats of music like Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Judy Collins, Sinatra, oh the list is endless.

Sondheim writes with such intricacies, and then again he can pen simple tunes, spanning several genres, something that has kept him at the top of the songwriting ladder.

Tonight's selection spanned the many decades and was delivered so smoothly by Andrew Booth, Shaun Hanrahan, Morven Harrison, Andy McPhee, Cat Orton and Kate Williams with piano accompaniment by Jon Orton, who also provided snippets of information on each song, showing what a fan of the composer he is. By the way the film of "Into the Woods" featuring James Corden, Frances De La Tour, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, is out in the US on Christmas Day  2014 and the British version closely following in the New Year! Thanks Jon!

There were three medleys, put together by Stephen Williams, which stretched the singers with the complexities of Sondheim's works but they all rose to the challenge and came together seamlessly, beautifully and flawlessly.

The evening started off with Andy laying down the etiquette for theatre goers everywhere with "Invocation and Instructions For The Audience" from the musical "The Frogs" ,which I must admit I didn't know was a Sondheim composition, but after listening to it again, has the Sondheim clever word play stamped all over it. Through "Losing My Mind" which was a crossover hit recorded by Liza Minnelli back two decades ago, "Maria" from "West Side Story", "Giants In The Sky" just one of the performed pieces from "Into The Woods", the wonderfully lush "Sooner Or Later" from the film "Dick Tracy" which Madonna sung on the soundtrack, the gorgeous "Broadway Baby" and ending with a luscious medley "In Praise Of Women" paying tribute to the fairer sex.

So much talent in one room and unfortunately not attended by as many people as I would have loved to have experienced it. Maybe the clashing of dates with Goose Fair may have had a small effect on numbers but I know that those who were there loved every single minute of the wonderful music sung by some equally wonderful singers.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

THE GREAT GATSBY by Northern Ballet
Nottingham Theatre Royal

Set in  the decadent 1920's, Northern Ballet bring the book written by F Scott Fitzgerald to the Nottingham Theatre Royal stage.

Now I know that just the mention of the word "ballet" will be enough to spin images of men in tights, codpieces and fluffy pink tutus, the women by the way not the men in tutus! But ballet today is a completely different art form and Northern Ballet blend jazz, contemporary, blues,classical and even The Charleston into the musical mix.

The costumes do not have a male pair of tights in sight and dancers wear the classic 20's style costumes, at times bordering on Hollywood glamour,and you can tell that so many of the big Hollywood dance numbers borrowed heavily from ballet, or is that the other way round, the lines here are definitely blurred. There are some wonderful period dances, snappy and full of staccato in the Charleston, and complemented by the wonderful sets, the staging recreates the style of the era.

The music and the dance is sexy, stylish, romantic, comic, entertaining and most of all acts as the narrator of the entire piece, and through the power of dance tell the story from start to its' tragic finish, and who needs words when you can translate story through dance so vividly.

For fans of "Strictly" you can really see what the judges mean when they talk about "extended lines", "upper body positioning and strength","pointing" etc because these dancers show all of this and so much more. They are athletes of dance and own immense core body strength. You can only admire their stamina and control, the delicate way they move into and out of hold, and the trust the female dancers place in their male counterparts as they are spun and tossed in the air like a delicate silk hanky.

Ballet can transport you to a completely different world, can calm and soothe you but can also evoke other emotions as the story unfolds to show violence and physical cruelty. There is something just a little special about going to the ballet because it is now no longer seen as something that the upper classes go to see in their finery and glasses on a stick. Ballet is for everyone and by the looks of the audience, this is confirmed.

The first half of the ballet was, in my opinion, better than the second but that is because the first half held more variety and mood. The second half was more traditional ballet based but was good to show both the fun side and the traditional.

A beautiful sound from the live orchestra seductive and sumptuous sets and some imaginative lighting complete an exciting night of dance with a classic story to boot, or should that be ballet pump?

"The Great Gatsby" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 4 October 2014