Swan Lake

Today was the long awaited trip to take Hazel to see Swan Lake for her birthday treat. She was very excited all weekend waiting for it. I was just hoping all day that she wouldn’t get upset about Von Rothbart (the villain) and would be able to enjoy the show. I was also a bit wary about the suicide at the end; I glossed over that when telling her the story beforehand. When we got to the theatre she was just abuzz with excitement. We did some people watching in the lobby before heading to our seats, front row balcony. She was thrilled that no one was in front of her, very important when you’re little. She also enjoyed being able to see the orchestra.

She loved every second of the performance. She was a bit worried at the beginning, during the opening musical piece by the orchestra, as the curtain was still closed for that piece. The little shout of glee when the curtain opened was priceless. She was fairly transfixed by the whole show and was as good as gold. It was great that she knew the story ahead of time, because though she had a few questions throughout, she did know what to expect and the sequence. She was intrigued that every time Von Rothbart came on stage, the lights went red! My two really have no idea about ‘villains’ or bad deeds that she didn’t know it represented ‘naughtiness’. The ending was changed from the story, which I found out at the end of the show was the normal one for Russian productions. They had the Prince break Von Rothbart’s wing, basically killing him and releasing Odette from the spell. Poor Hazel wanted to know why we couldn’t see the wedding and had a tear at the end because she wanted it to go on and on and on. She wants to know when she can go back—I think she liked it!

I do have one complaint about the theatre—I know it may be old fashioned, but I hate when they sell packets of sweets and chocolates during live performances. We had the ‘pleasure’ of sitting 2 seats away from a group of about 9 girls, all of about the age of 10. From the second they sat down all we heard was ‘crinkle, crackle, scrunch, crunch’! It must drive the performers mad. The girls also had trouble sitting still and watching the performance. I couldn’t count how many times they were in and out of bags, passing things to each other, turning round to each other and just fidgeting. The two women next to us decided to leave for some higher seats, complimenting Hazel’s behaviour as they beat a hasty retreat. During intermission we had a chat with the two older women behind us, who said it was a comfort to know that there are still a few children who can behave during a show, and who are thrilled by the performance.

While we were in the theatre the boys had some ‘guy’ time. They went to one of the parks in town and then for a long walk along the river. Kieran was able to bring his scooter, so he was thrilled with that. He was probably most thrilled when his very naughty father bought them some chips for a ‘little snack’. This of course was the first thing he reported back to me!

We ended the evening having a meal in a pub on the way home. We even order a dessert to share, a nice way to end her ‘birthday treat’!

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