Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.

Hey Dolls :)

I think by now, with the amount I've whittered on about it, you should all know I love Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. There's something about Carroll's nonsensical logic that always captures my imagination each time I read the books. When the wonderful Ann hinted months ago that The Scottish Ballet were putting on a production of Alice, my excitement went into overload and I (im)patiently bided my time until more information was released. I was even more excited when, later, Ann invited me to a very special date...a wonderful bloggers event to celebrate Alice in conjunction with Blytheswood Square.

The event happened on Saturday and it really was a magical day! It began in the absolutely beautiful Blytheswood Square hotel. Immediately, the first thing I noticed was the amazing chandelier in the foyer which you can see the very end of here - I would like one similar in my house (ha)

On the day, I was running rather late due to an impromptu stop at the stupid uni library and getting rather lost, so I fear I may have seemed rather hysterical to those who met me first, for this I apologise!! I really am quite normal and capable of polite conversation really! Anyway after a quick chat with lots of lovely bloggers we were whisked off to watch a couple of films detailing the ballet's creation from the beginning stages to how the performance works technically on stage. Being a theatre studies student, I was sucked into the technical and conceptual sides of the ballet which I think really paved the way for watching Alice later.

We were then absolutely spoiled with a beautiful afternoon tea, each getting our own little cake stand to munch on.

The blytheswood square had created the stand to fit in with a mad hatter tea party - it was amazing! We had the tiniest cupcakes I have seen with popping candy and wonderful purple cakes that tasted of parma violets. There really is no better way to make me happy than with cake!! During our afternoon tea, the wonderful ladies from The Rainbow Rooms came in and demonstrated how to get the perfect ballet bun. I'm going to do an demonstration post on this, as I think it's a perfect way of getting a bun without using a doughnut (which I've posted about before) as I knew a few of you were worried your hair wasn't long enough to cover the doughnut.

For the next hour, we were able to get our hair done by the lovely rainbow room ladies (they demonstrated on me how to use my beloved dust it, always spreading the dust it gospel!), get a hand massage from some of the blytheswood therapists and get our make up touched up by Jane from smujj (I fell on love with about 4843739 new lipstick colours). I also went on a tour of the hotel and spa, led by the lovely (and very funny) spa manager Leon. The spa is absolutely amazing, it instantly instills a feeling of calm with its soft lighting and incense and everyone roaming about in slippers and gowns!

I have been raving about the spa to everyone I've spoken to since Saturday, I cannot wait to go and try it out! Shall be the perfect exam stress buster!

It was then time to go and watch Alice, I don't really know where to start! The entire performance was absolutely breathtaking and was simultaneously beautiful, whimsical, dark, funny and disorientating. The performance doesn't stick routinely to the book instead juxtaposing abstract episodes that were often recognisable (like the tea party and painting the roses red) but always seemed slightly slanted. Rather than falling down the rabbit hole, Alice falls through the lens of Charles Dodgson's (otherwise known as Lewis Carroll) camera

Fun Lewis Carroll fact courtesy of my friend Lynsey, if you've read the books (or seen the disney film) you'll know there's a character of a dodo. This was incorporated because Dodgson had a stutter and so, when trying to say his name, he would say dodododgson (geekfest over). When reading about the performance, it was noted that the Alice stories were an early milestone in surrealism and you can definitely see a shift in a surrealist direction as opposed to adherence to traditional Victorian depiction of the John Tenniel illustrations in the books.

It was amazing to see such well known characters given their own individual slant. I absolutely loved the re imagining of the mysterious and quite sinister Jabberwock, who, rather than being represented as a monster, was given a definite human form, corrupted by the placement of a box over his head.

As ever, the Scottish Ballet's set (which was quite different from the christmas productions I have seen previously, Alice used lots of light projections as opposed to fabric dropbacks) and costumes were amazing.

Alice has left Glasgow now but you can still catch it in the following places and dates:

Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Wed 20 – Sat 23 April 2011
Inverness Eden Court
Wed 27 – Sat 30 April 2011
Cardiff Millennium Centre
Wed 4 – Sat 7 May2011
Aberdeen Her Majesty's Theatre
Wed 11 – Sat 14 May 2011

Also, if you want an insight into the backstage of a ballet, this Thursday at 7.10 you can watch the dancers put on their make up (so excited) and warm up before the performance as well as following all of the action on twitter. I am definitely tuning in, we had the chance to look at the face charts of the performance and they are beautiful! Find out more about the live streaming event here.

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in making Saturday possible. Every little detail was taken care of and I can't imagine the amount of work and organisation that went into it...even down to the goody bag tags and our name tags screamed Alice!



  1. it was really lovelvy to meet you on Sat, hope you had a fun night out- after a nap :) hopefully see you again soon xx

  2. aaaaw, lovely wee post lady - if only I could fit that chandelier in my flat!! ;)

    so glad you enjoyed the day - and keep meaning to say to you - thought your eye make up was fab!!

    a x

  3. It sounds like an amazing day! I love Alice, and a full length performance of the Royal Ballet's Alice was broadcast on BBC2 last weekend. I was totally enthralled for two hours!

    The little cupcakes sound divine, and the goody bag is so cute!!


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