Edinburgh Fringe 2015
The Princess loved playing in the gardens. One day she dropped her ball in the pond. A frog came out to help her and after some persuasion he got her ball back and they became friends. A simple peck on the cheek then transformed the frog into a handsome prince.
There is nothing new or particularly avant garde about this piece of work but it transfixed the kids who turned up to see it. Sometimes classic stories are classic because they need no tinkering and require no radical retelling. This was a marvellous ballet in a cramped space with two performers giving their fullest attention to the audience and getting a very warm response.
The voice over meant that nobody was left in any doubt what was happening whilst the dance, though at times the space was quite restrictive, was more than a visual clue. Lorna Williams is to be commended on the choice of costumes which added wonderfully to the fairy tale whilst Orit Sutton as director gave us an assured hand upon the tiller.
Maria Grozova was every inch the princess whilst Stephen Dole as the frog was an admirable foil. Their performances were as nuanced as necessary whilst they used each and every inch of a very tight space. Considering the amount of movement that was used this was no mean feat. I was moved to consider why a ballet should strike me as so good to watch in the middle of such an eclectic festival. Perhaps it is the creativity of finding work to perform which is not restricted to the prejudices of those who consider ballet to only be a high end art that can only be performed in massive venues with over priced tickets. This was a great enterprise from a company with a Ronseal motto – Let’s All Dance.
Whilst this was a more traditional piece of theatre than can often be associated with the Fringe, the enthralled looks upon the children who came to watch should be best indicator of how good this piece was. Just in front of me were two boys – about 5 or 6 years old. They sat without moving for the entire show and were as engaged as the wee girls who were desperate to get up and dance with the ballerina. By that time we were ready to finish and perhaps the final sequence felt a little stretched out but as the children sat watching it – who am I to criticise?