A Grand introduction to ballet which is ‘just right’

Jenny Hackwell as Goldilocks. Photo Brian Slater
Jenny Hackwell as Goldilocks. Photo Brian Slater
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Grand Theatre

It’s one of the most well known fairy tales and has appeared as various re-tellings.

And now the Northern Ballet Theatre has brought another adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to the stage at the Grand Theatre.

Designed to give children their first ballet experience, the 40-minute production was charming from start to finish.

I had wondered how the production team could stretch the short tale out long enough for it be worthy of a stage show.

But the storyline was beautifully developed with the addition of Goldilocks’ mother seen baking a cake with her at home and then later worrying where the mischievous girl had disappeared to. Two other new characters were a striking blue bird and a mysterious fox, who join inquisitive Goldilocks on an adventure in the forest which leads her to the bears’ cottage.

Seasoned ballet lovers will know not to expect any dialogue, but it seemed to come as a shock to some.

(“Why aren’t they talking? Talk, Goldilocks,” shouted one little boy behind us.)

Instead, it was the four-strong orchestra (cello, keyboard, flute and clarinet) doing the talking as it played delightful music which mirrored the storyline perfectly.

But it was the expressive performance of the cast of six dancers that really captivated the packed out theatre.

Julia Bennett