Emily Withers (BRB’s Cultural Intern) writes her thoughts about her week’s experiences from the Company’s temporary office in Sadler’s Wells Theatre……

We are now halfway through the penultimate leg of the tour and BRB are currently taking up residence in Sadler’s Wells theatre aka ‘London’s Dance House’. The majority of dancers and several of the company’s staff arrived in the misty, rain-drenched capital on Monday afternoon after a rather warm, sleep-inducing coach journey.

Sadler’s Wells theatre is always looking to commission fresh, innovative work and BRB’s two triple bills (Opposites Attract and Autumn Celebration) certainly fulfil those specifications.

It has been a successful start to the week and on Wednesday evening the curtain went down on the first of our two shows as the final performance of Opposites Attract came to an end. With the opening performance of Autumn Celebration tonight (which I am very privileged to be going to see), I am convinced we will have an equally favourable performances in the next two days, especially after having seen the dress rehearsal!!

This is the week in the tour I have been most looking forward to for two specific reasons. Firstly, I simply love London. I cannot imagine spending a single moment in this city at a loss for what to do, and it is always great to see friends and family and catch the odd show (in between work of course).

Secondly, Sadler’s Wells Theatre share a significant history with BRB in that it housed the Vic-Wells ballet from 1931 to 1940, a company that after going through various changes eventually became the BRB we know and love today. Due to this reason, I was very eager to see the theatre (even after its sixth renovation).

Yesterday I attended a couple of meetings alongside Paul Grace (Technical Director), Peter Teigen (Lighting Design Consultant) and Johnny Westall-Eyre (Head of Lighting); the first of which was at London Coliseum (well more accurately it was conducted in Café Neros, which is rather conveniently positioned next door). The purpose of the meeting was to consolidate the technical schedule for the forthcoming season of David Bintley’s Aladdin, which we are taking to the Coliseum in March next year. (As an aside: I did however get to experience a swift tour of the theatre, which is the largest in the UK and it has arguably the most beautiful auditorium I have ever seen).

We went from there onto the Royal Opera House, who are commissioned by BRB to create the set, costumes and props for Aladdin, along with other upcoming productions.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go behind the scenes and discover the untold delights of their Props workshop room, a treasure trove which Paul Grace has fondly termed ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ for many years, which has now quite literally become the case. Seeing the work for the set that has already been undertaken and pairing that with David Bintley’s choreography I can only imagine the show will be nothing short of spectacular.

I’m heading back to Birmingham tomorrow morning, and I cannot believe how swiftly this week has flown by.

Here’s to the final leg in Cardiff next week!!

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