Queen Victoria’s diaries are revealed and explored by her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice. Can you imagine if your child got an insight into your life after we are gone?
This ballet shows that along with an intimate look at one of our famous monarchs.
Princess Beatrice is the youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her life with her mother is dominated by her mothers widow’d life and controlling Beatrice, keeping her daughter close as a companion.
Imagine then Beatrice opening Queen Victoria’s diaries with all her personal secrets and life before being a widow are wrote out in their entirety; there’s Victoria the ballet.
This is a ballet with Cathy Marston, who has previously worked with the northern ballet on four other projects. Victoria is Cathy Marston’s fourth full length production with them.
Victoria is a co-production with The National Ballet of Canada too! So many people around the world helped create this piece. I feel so lucky to have been able to see it at my local theatre in Milton Keynes.
The ballet itself is a blended mix of old and new.
The costumes are beautiful, particularly Queen Victoria’s regal white dress costume. The imposing black dress she wears as a widow and that she dresses her daughter in, when she too is made a widow is ominous to their lives mirrored in grief.
I believe the diaries that Beatrice reads, a stack of books in red come alive with dancers in red.
The sound through the times of Victoria’s pen writing in the diary is heard a lot, that and the sound of the curtain and how it is used to jump through time and memories/diary entries is brilliant.
What I initially thought was a super loud curtain actually reminds me now of the sound of an old railway announcement board, as the letters and numbers spin around in a clattering mesh of sound until the next train is displayed. That’s kind of what the curtain represented to me, refocusing in time and clattering through pages until the next entry was dived into.
Victoria, is definitely not one of the golden ‘classical’ ballets (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker etc) and while it wasn’t one of them, it taught me a lot about Victoria and was danced beautifully by the ballet dancers.
While you could sit there watching the dance moves alone and be fixated on the pointe shoes and the legs for days, and come out wondering what the hell just happened, if you just sit and take it all in without question, you will see Victoria.
Victoria: A Ballet by Cathy Marston is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 30 Apr – 4 May 2019.
For full transparency, tickets for Victoria were gifted to me from Milton Keynes Theatre. They have not told me what to post or say in this piece. I wrote this all myself! 😆