Culture Vulture

Published June 17, 2014 by Jackie

Right now I’m in that place where you end up after something so keenly anticipated in your calendar has passed. Doubly so, because Friday 13th AND Saturday 14th saw two long-anticipated events come and go. The good thing is, both left me feeling so elated, but now they are passed, I feel strangely deflated, but also with some very special memories.

Friday’s event was the top-secret gig I alluded to a few blog posts ago. Our wonderful Love Music Community Choir was invited to flashmob the grand Gala Concert at the Usher Hall, which was being staged to welcome the Queen’s Baton to Edinburgh for the start of the final leg of its journey, around Scotland, before arriving at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. Choir were also invited to perform at the concert the following day at the Ross Bandstand, below the Castle Rock.

To this end, we have been learning Commonwealth inspired songs all term, plus Ode to Joy, which was Stephen’s choice for the Gala Concert flashmob.

What a treat the concert was, especially to watch the Rachmaninoff from the perfect angle, but what a treat to read this review in the Scotsman #hinthintFinalPara  Do you think the audience realised the flashmob was arranged by the Usher Hall ~ yeah really, how else could we all sit together on either side of the central block in the stalls? And have the organist John Kitchen play with us? btw thanks John for flourishing with the melody in the middle to keep us on track. You can watch us on YouTube here ~ I did smile at the other, non-choir audience members who, just for a moment, thought they should stand too!

Then on Saturday, while most of the choir were off to the Ross Bandstand to perform Indian syncopation in the round, and Zulu songs, Moira and I headed off to Glasgow for some ballet. We went by bus, and left Edinburgh with darkening, ominous skies (I understand it rained, no, poured, right at the point the choir were on, sorry guys!), but the sun was out when we arrived in Glasgow and walked up to the Theatre Royal.

We headed for some food first, and decided against the jazz in Trader Joe’s (very loud) and Chinese food, and opted for the Hula Cafe between the two, where next-door’s jazz was just audible as background music. Two starters rather than a main, I had the Merguez Lamb skewers and patatas bravas, Moira opted for mussels plus patatas ~ we could’ve shared, it was a large portion, but they were good, and we both scoffed our full plate! I treated myself to a wee bit of orange & almond cake without any flourishes, yum! (I only have cake as a very special treat, and this was really my birthday treat, this ballet)

We’d come all this way to see Lord of the Flies ~ Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures has a charitable arm, Re:Bourne, and this was a production from them. Eight professional dancers from the company, several of whom I recognised from other productions, have been touring the UK and working with twenty-four local boys in each location, from ages 10 to 20-ish, to stage Lord of the Flies.

Some of these boys in Glasgow had no background in dance, some did, but all had a willingness to learn how to express themselves through dance. I was staggered by their performance, there was nothing amateur or half-hearted about them. They had clearly worked very hard and it showed. I’ll leave you to read the review New Adventures have on their website, but I wanted to add some words that convey how I felt….

Savage youths & feral boys; compelling, electric, powerful; the construction work in the street seemed to push its way onto the stage for an ideal setting, while the heat in the theatre sucked in from a warm summer evening outside added to the oppressive atmosphere

It may surprise you, reader, if I say that, huge Matthew Bourne fan that I am, this has gone straight in at #NumberOne, all-time, best-ever production, without a shadow of a doubt.

ps funny wee story ~ across the road from the Theatre Royal we passed a woman who I thought I recognised, and who looked at me as if she might know me too! I saw her later in the Theatre, with walkie-talkie, but wasn’t able to chat, I assumed she was either a knitter or a belly-dancer I’d met in the past. When we came out, I grabbed my opportunity to say hello and ask, she was embarrassed because she thought I’d caught her looking admiringly at my nice pleated black and pink top! She said she usually works in the Kings in Glasgow, perhaps she’d sold me an ice-cream? But I’ve never been there, so that’s a no.  Then she asked if I’d seen Sunshine on Leith (of course I have, I’m from Edinburgh! I’ve seen both the stage and film versions) and she said she was an actress too, and had appeared in that! So a copy is currently winging its way from Amazon, I shall watch it with interest this summer with my nieces.


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