Thursday, July 28, 2005

Going out on a school night

So THIS is what single life is like when you don't have kids. I'd always wondered. Scrappino is staying with my folks for six weeks, and while the cat's away….

Tuesday night I went to see the wonderful production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Sadler's Wells. Yes, a ballet version of the book/play/film. The book is fabulous and if you're stuck for holiday reading this summer, that's my recommendation. It’s funny, clever, sarcastic, romantic and tragic. And you don't often get all that in one book, rrp. £3.99.

The film (Dangerous Liaisons - translated from the French for American audiences who couldn't work out Les Liaisons Dangereuses for themselves) is a masterpiece, and the choreographer of the ballet had clearly used the movie as his blueprint. To be honest, if it hadn't been for the fact that the film is one of my all-time favourites, I doubt I'd have gone to see the ballet at all. It was impossible to separate the film from the dance production. Reading the programme, I wondered if others in the audience felt the same. Maybe, instead of printing "The part of the Marquise de Merteuil will be played by…" they should have said "The part of Glenn Close will be played by…"

I had planned to watch the ballet with my friend D. We booked at the last minute and could only get hold of tickets in the upper second circle, which, for someone with mild vertigo, is not ideal. On the way to find my seat I felt like that chap in "Touching the Void" as he slowly climbed to the summit. I half expected to find the abandoned bodies of ballet enthusiasts whose legs had given way, or who had run out of oxygen, before they made it to row U. By the time I found my seat I wouldn't have been surprised to find snow on my head. Unfortunately, a couple of hours before the performance, D phoned to say that she was poorly and wouldn't be able to make it. Despite a frantic attempt to sell the ticket - or bribe someone to come along with me - I ended up going on my own, which is a shame. There's only one thing worse than sitting in crap seats up in the gods. And that's sitting on your own in crap seats up in the gods.

I tried to put a brave face on it. Bought a drink, for myself, in the bar, and read the programme. Tried to look like I take myself out on dates all the time. I must admit, there was the odd attempt at a little theatre-auditorium flirting, but it was pretty hopeless. If there were any heterosexual men there, I couldn't spot them. Well, this is Sadler's Wells after all. And, let's not forget, the star attraction of the performance was Adam Cooper.

Ah, Adam Cooper. Did I not mention him earlier? Yes, the OTHER reason why I wanted to see the ballet was that the star, director and choreographer was Adam Cooper. If you've not heard of him before, he's the one who plays the grown up Billy Elliot at the end of the film. In the final scene he leaps across the screen, playing the lead role in the all-male Swan Lake, and takes everyone's breath away. And once you've seen him dressed in nothing but make-up and feathers, you simply have to see him dancing in 18th century frilly shirt and silk breeches. Even if you do have to climb three flights of stairs and sit on your own to do it. There are worse ways to spend a mid-week evening.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing the lengths people will go to see a man in tights.

3:59 pm  

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