Ever since I was a little girl, I grew up learning and loving the story of Peter and the Wolf and the music by Prokoviev. My favourite versions are the 1946 Disney short and this ballet version which I slightly prefer. The ballet version is wonderful, it still has the obligatory narration and the endearing characters while throwing some skillful choreography into the mix.
The story is timeless, there are not many characters, but these characters are likable as they are unique. The choreography is efficient, with suitably balletic movements for the duck, bird and cat and threatening gestures from the sinister wolf for example.
And of course Prokoviev's music is outstanding. I love how each character has their own instruments, strings for Peter, flute for bird, oboe for duck, clarinet for cat, bassoon for grandfather, 3 french horns for wolf and kettledrums for the hunters. Even the production values are great, the costumes are lovely not only with the principals but also with the pond and the meadow too.
The dancing is equally adept, David Johnson is the charming and likable Peter and he does well and Elizabeth Holliday is wonderful as the slinky and cunning cat, while Layla Harrison and Karan Lingham are great as bird and duck. Sir Anthony Dowell is an imposing and charismatic grandmother, while Martin Harvey especially stands out in a genuinely frightening performance as the wolf.
Overall, a great childhood favourite that I still enjoy. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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