I used to go to the ballet quite a lot when I lived in Devon and Cornwall, but when I moved to Leeds, I was too far away from mum to do so as often. However, I did manage to convince the husband to go and see The Nutcracker last year at Christmas and now he has agreed to at least go to the ballet with me every Christmas.
As part of this, he booked us tickets to see Beauty and the Beast this year, which was performed by Northern Ballet. The tickets were pretty reasonable and we had a good view from the first row of the balcony, which is where I like to sit to get a good view without having to shell out £40+ per ticket.
They've managed to retain all the old details, from the incredible chandelier to all the decorations on the walls. The theatre actually makes me want to get glammed up when we go to watch something, as it just looks like the kind of place you need to make an effort for (my photos really don't do it justice).
As usual, the performance was also outstanding. I've not been to a performance by Northern Ballet that isn't, so Beauty and the Beast really didn't disappoint. The story telling was easy to follow straight from the start, setting the scene and giving us some great insight into the characters.
The set design was also fantastic, with each part of the story including some aspect of the set that the dancers interact with. Moving sets also add to the story, rather than being there just to look good, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine when it comes to theatre. They were used to set the mood, show characters' growth and signal changes between reality and dream, all of which was incredibly effective.
All in all, the whole evening was really magical. The story of Beauty and the Beast was different to any I've seen, but it worked really well, especially with just dance to tell it. Both myself and the husband really enjoyed it and would happily go again. In fact, I'm already looking to book our tickets for next year, as the ballet at Christmas is the Little Mermaid.
If you've never been to the ballet, this is a good one to start with and Northern Ballet is a great company to go and watch. You can see what shows they have coming up and buy tickets here.