on bloggers day out at the scottish ballet

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Scottish Bloggers meet up at the gorgeous Blythswood Square. Organised flawlessly by the gorgeous Ann from girlinthecityglasgow, the day was all sorts of good – filled with pampering,culture and cake. Oh so much cake.
I started the morning meeting with one of my favourite bloggers, Lisa from Baroque Boudoir making our way up to the Blythswood dressed to the nines (her in Vivienne Westwood angel wedges, me tottering along in chunky red heels from Miss Selfridge.) On arrival we’re guided down to the Monte Carlo suite where we’re greeted with a glass of prosecco and given our name badges (with the Alice font) and the mingling begins. I was pretty nervous….speaking too much and too freely about my creepy builders and £7 kebab but everyone was so lovely and funny and wonderful. We were guided in to the Blythswood’s screening room (each chair adorned with a different Harris Tweed, keeping it Scottish eh?) where we’re treated to a few videos on the production design of Alice and all the work that goes in to putting together a large scale production. The whole idea of the set moving to give way to each different world was amazing, and I loved the fact that they took influence from Victorian photocollage. It looked….astounding. After our wee deek at the videos the wonderful Leon – spa director at the Blythswood gushed about the Blythswood Spa and the treatments they provided there. Pretty much one of the best spa’s in Scotland, the one thing that particularly stood out to me was the idea of this seaweed bath.
If we weren’t already feeling pretty spoiled we were brought through to a room for a high tea, and out came the platters with an Alice inspired tea. I swear to god I have never seen so much food in my entire life.

Photo: Baroque Boudouir

With empire biscuits,strawberry tarts and a Cheshire Cat inspired violet flavoured cake the spread was fit for a Queen. We were then invited to get our hair,nails and face did as well as having a tour of the spa. I missed the tour, but a few other girls who got in on the action assured me it’s one of the finest spas they have ever seen.
Once fed and watered we’re given goody bags (with spa vouchers,jewellery from Rox…and a selection of hair products, nearly died a bit when realised I got some dust-it,result) we were whisked off to the Theatre Royal for the Scottish Ballet‘s production of Alice.

I’ve only been to the ballet once before – to see Sleeping Beauty, and that was on a University trip some 3 and a bit years ago. I remember the costumes being amazing….but the ones for Alice, well they pretty much blew me away. The whole production had a darker tone throughout, with a punk rock aesthetic. Favourites for me were Tweedledum and Tweedledee as pregnant schoolgirls, the Leigh Bowery inspired Humpty Dumpty and of course the Cheshire Cat. Doubt there was a blogger there who left not wanting to nick her tights.
Like the book, the ballet doesn’t follow a classic narrative structure, instead focuses on character led episodes weaving together Alice’s transition from childhood to adulthood and how she relates to those around her. By having Alice fall through the camera lens (a metaphor for Carrol’s imagination) the ballet has an element of meta to it – especially with Carrol as one of the leads. The dancing itself was spectacular, the costumes pretty much perfect and I don’t really think I can gush enough about the set design. I was pretty much blown away. I cannot recommend it thoroughly enough and would encourage anyone who has the chance to see it to please do. That’s Alice left Glasgow but you can still see the performance in Edinburgh,Inverness,Cardiff and Aberdeen.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Wed 20 – Sat 23 April 2011

Evenings 20-23 April – 7.30pm

Matinees 21 & 23 April – 2pm
Inverness Eden Court

Wed 27 – Sat 30 April 2011

Evenings 27-30 April – 7.30pm

Matinees 28 & 30 April – 2pm
Cardiff Millennium Centre

Wed 4 – Sat 7 May2011

Evenings 4-7 May – 7.30pm

Matinee 7 May – 2pm

Aberdeen Her Majesty’s Theatre

Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2011

Evenings 11-14 May – 7.30pm

Matinees 12 & 14 May– 2pm

Tickets start from as little as £10….so you’d be insane to miss it.
If you can’t make it to any of the showings, you should tune in to Alice‘s live streaming event from 7pm on April 21st. Half hour before curtain call you’ll be able to see dancers apply make up, talk about the production and warm up before going on stage.

Scottish Ballet: Alice 2011 – Antony McDonald, Designing a New World from Scottish Ballet on Vimeo.

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