The Three Musketeers

Last night we saw David Nixon's production of 'Three Musketeers' at Woking. It was produced by the Northern Ballet Company on tour.

It was simply stunning. Given that it's a touring company we were expecting the sets to be lacklustre, but they were top notch too.

The dancing was wonderful, and the story had a bit of meat to it - difficult with only dance to tell the tale.

There were several visual jokes which worked a treat, smuggling the queen out from under the nose of Cardinal Richelieu's men was very good. The cross-dressing King of France was quite amusing (providing a motivation for the Queen to lose interest in him). The final scene was incredibly busy, boxes flying everywhere (the wooden kind, not the protective kind --- though the protectives might conceivably be wooden, I'll admit).

I knew what was going to happen with the necklace, and even then I didn't see it happen, it was very cleverly choreographed.

There was a lovely scene with Dartagnan tied to the queen's maid, two people dancing whilst roped together was a great thing to see....

The swordplay was also done well, real swashbuckling stuff. The great thing is that, unlike for the Bolshoi, we were very close to the stage - provincial theatres do that for you. This put us right up close to the action, at a lower price than the 'Auditorium' seats in Covent Garden, and with production values that were on a par.

From Woking, the Three Musketeers goes to Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Norwich, Manchester and Belfast. (Tour Dates - will update with time). There are other productions being performed at different places (Sleeping Beauty and Christmas Carol). There is a date in Sadlers Wells (London) next summer whose production is to be confirmed.

I would advise people to give this one a try. Quotes from critics can be seen here.