What a JOYOUS piece of entertainment!
The great advantage of 'A Christmas Carol' is that it has such a strong storyline. There may be less opportunity for dazzling virtuoso displays of technical brilliance, but the ballet is so easy to engage with and there is never a dull moment.
The set is extraordinary! The way all the pieces were moved and transformed by the dancers was very clever, and the slide was SO exciting. I was lucky enough to see the show twice, and the slide was just as exciting the second time around!
I was really impressed with Rory Fairweather-Neylan's portrayal of Scrooge - he brought out the angry side of a Scrooge who had been badly hurt in the past. And I just love the RNZB laid-back attitude to casting, with Rory's old Scrooge cast alongside Kohei Iwamoto's young Scrooge: even though they are different heights, different colouring and different ethnicities, they are both fantastic leading dancers so SURE they can play the same character, why not? (And again with newcomer 'Gorgeous' George Liang cast as the son of Shane Urton and Madison Geoghegan despite lack of family resemblance.)
The highly-anticipated heartbreaking duet between Belle and Young Scrooge was just as 'totes-emosh' as expected. Mayu Tanigaito and Kohei danced it beautifully, and from the front row I was able to hear them sniffing back tears! By the end, Mayu was standing right in front of me and I was willing her not to cry because if she started crying then I'd start crying . . (everyone started crying).
Mum & Dad Fezziwig were complete scene-stealers! Just like Cinderella's stepsisters, we couldn't take our eyes off them. Kirby Selchow and Laura Saxon Jones each brought their own humour to Mrs Fezziwig, and both times Harry Skinner played Mr Fezziwig to absolute PERFECTION.
The live singing was a bonus - some of the dancers have really stunning voices.
There were huge amounts of characters, and lots of quick changes for many of the dancers who got plenty of opportunity to showcase their versatility, appearing as characters who were young, old, ghosts, happy, sad, drunk, sober, rich, poor, respectable or very definitely NOT respectable!
It was such a delight to watch each dancer inhabit their various roles with their own unique style, whether they are charismatic dancers, strong dancers, sweet dancers, beautiful dancers, cheeky dancers, fluid dancers, sparkly dancers, powerful dancers, fun dancers, convincing dancers, lovely dancers or sincere dancers . . Thank you yet again RNZB for all of your enormous hard work! SUCH FUN. ;)