Ever since watching Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker last year, I have fallen in love with the Ballet. I’ve been a few times since and couldn’t miss the chance to see the latest production, Hansel & Gretel at Theatre Royal. I was invited, along with other bloggers to an indulgent day of Afternoon Tea and Mini Spa treatment at Blythswood Square Hotel before being whisked away to the Theatre to watch the show.
When I arrived at Blythswood, my day kicked off with a Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail. The hotel especially created the cocktail which is inspired by the childhood story. They combined Martin Miller’s Gin with Amaro Nonino, fresh lemon juice, lemon curd and ginger syrup, candied peach pureé and a splash of egg white with crumbled puff candy on top (£9.75). Who cared that it was 11am and I was already drinking. It was a special day, after all.
We had time to mingle with fellow invitees before being taken to the private movie screening room within Blythswood (ever so slightly jealous of this!) to watch short “Making Of…” movies to gain a closer insight into what it takes to put on a ballet production of this scale. I loved seeing the creation of the sets, utterly beautiful on film and even better up close and personal at the theatre.
If the morning couldn’t get any better, we sat down to a Hansel & Gretel inspired Afternoon Tea complete with a beautiful display of sandwiches, fresh clotted cream scones and sweet treats such as gingerbread men, carrot cake and macarons (£22 per person). Everything looked too good to eat and the hardest part was deciding what to eat first. My sweet tooth took over and I just had to try the cakes first!
As we were tucking into our Afternoon Tea, we each took turns to get arm and hand massages by the lovely spa staff which was extremely relaxing. I definitely need to go back to the hotel to try out their spa in all it’s glory. I’ve heard great things about it. Who doesn’t love a spa day?
Before we were whisked off to Theatre Royal, we had the chance to chat to Scottish Ballet’s Principal dancer Christopher Harrison and Artist Constance Devernay with Christina Riley, Scottish Ballet Marketing and Communication Editor asking a whole host of questions about life in the ballet, costumes, their careers and productions. It was great having that insight into their lives and seeing behind the scenes rather than just attending the ballet (not that that isn’t wonderful in itself!). We also had the chance to see some of the outfits up close. The detail is utterly stunning.
As time went on, it was nearly curtain time at Theatre Royal and we were whisked away with our very own pick n mix in true Hansel & Gretel fashion.
Unwrap a tasty new Christmas treat with the world premiere of Christopher Hampson’s fantastical Hansel & Gretel. A small town, all the children have disappeared. Plucky Hansel and Gretel embark on an exciting adventure venturing deep into the enchanted forest to find their friends.
This delightfully inventive brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland. A carousel of delicious treats from start to finish,Hansel & Gretel is full to the brim with magic and wit; with toys that come to life and a beautiful bewitching ballerina who is not at all as she seems. Scrumptiously surreal and with more than a sprinkle of festive magic – take an enchanting journey with Scotland’s national dance company this winter.
Humperdinck’s evocative score is performed live by the Scottish Ballet orchestra.
Source: Scottish Ballet
Hands down, this was by far the best Scottish Ballet production I have seen. The set designs were mesmerising, the dancing impeccable and the costumes were utterly stunning. It was a truly magical performance and I sat in awe throughout. I couldn’t fault a thing.
The Glasgow shows are now over but the production is touring various locations from next month. If you get the chance to attend, I would highly recommend it. I’m not just saying that because I was a guest of Scottish Ballet in this instance, I’m saying it because I’m 100% sure you will not be disappointed. It is breathtaking from start to finish.
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh · Wed 8th – Sat 11th January 2014
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen · Wed 15th – Sat January 2014
Eden Court, Inverness · Wed 22nd – Sat 25th January 2014
Theatre Royal, Newcastle · Wed 29th January – Sat 1st February 2014
Grand Opera House, Belfast · Wed 5th February – Sat 8th February 2014
Note: If you love Afternoon Tea or want to spoil someone, Blythswood Square Hotel are offering the Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail and Hansel & Gretel Afternoon Tea until the end of January 2014. It is delicious!
Photo Credit: Thank you to Andy Ross for the production photographs.