The Canterville Ghost, Peacock Theatre

The performance began with 3 members of the cast welcoming us and providing an explanation for 3 ‘mimes’ that will appear in the show. All of which I forgot immediately. The cast also introduced the character of the Grim Reaper and put the younger audience members at ease to not be afraid of the Grim Reaper during the show.
Based on Oscar Wilde’s novella, of the same name, The Canterville Ghost tells the story of Sir Simon Canterville of Canterville Chase, who after brutally killing his wife is visited by the Grim Reaper who tells Simon he is condemned to haunt Canterville Chase. Skip a few hundred years later and a young family now live at Canterville Chase, Mr and Mrs Otis with their four children Washington, Virginia and the twins. It is Virginia who eventually shows Sir Simon sympathy and is convinced to beg Death for Mercy on the ghost thus freeing Sir Simon.
The story is dark and this was definitely evident in the ballet performance. Considering the age of some of the audience I was surprised there was no alarm from the younger members – they must have been made of stronger stuff than I was at their age!
This rendition of The Canterville Ghost was set in the 1920s which meant some great 1920s costumes and a wonderful score by Artem Cassiliev. The staging was a revival of a ballet choreographed by the late David Fielding. Fielding created an imaginative and fun ballet while still maintaining the dark theme of Wilde’s tale.
Playing the ghost of Sir Simon was Zack Tidswell who provided a captivating performance showing immense skill. The twins, played by Cecilia Hungerford and Sophie Schulten, provided much amusement throughout the ballet with their mischievous shenanigans. The cast of 56 were all wonderfully talented. What a triumph to be so young and contribute to such a wonderful show…At their age I was reading Sugar magazine and watching Grange Hill!
I have already put in my calendar to look out for their show next year.

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