Angelina's Star Performance
It has been my dream for many years to have an original Angelina ballet for young children, so 'ANGELINA'S STAR PERFORMANCE' really is a dream come true. Antony Dowson, the choreographer, has done a wonderful job interpreting my book, "Angelina at the Palace," for the stage (he did have a special consultant: his eight-year-old daughter, Sophie!)
In Act One, Angelina goes to visit Queen Seraphina with Miss Lilly and her mouseling friends: Alice, Flora, Henry, and William. At the Royal Palace, Angelina meets the Queen and two rather naughty princesses, Valentine and Phoebe. Angelina must teach the princesses their ballet steps for a special performance for the queen, but Valentine is a hopeless dancer and Phoebe is very mischievous, so it's quite a challenge! At the end of Act One, Angelina has one of her famous meltdowns, and then graciously makes up with Princess Valentine.
In Act Two, the dancing princesses join Angelina and her friends in a comical mouseling version of The Sleeping Beauty ballet for Queen Seraphina. The dancing is superb, and Henry and William (as the handsome prince) add impressive jetes for the boys in the audience.
The English National Ballet has pulled out all the stops to make this a very special family show, and the result is stunning. The sets have captured the essence of Helen Craig's artwork with Queen Seraphina's throne room, Miss Lilly's Ballet studio, and a gorgeous backdrop of the Royal Palace of Mouseland all in brilliant colors.
Costume designer Wizzy Shawyer has created beautiful, sparkling costumes that look exactly like the book illustrations, and all the ballet dancers wear a padded mouse suit under their costumes to make their figures slightly rounded and more childlike, otherwise, they'd be very skinny mice indeed. The hardest part was creating perfect heads for all the dancing mice, and they are an absolute triumph. Apparently it took quite a few rehearsals before the dancers could move easily, as they can't even see their feet, so huge kudos to the nine young 'mouseling' dancers.
As you can imagine, I am sitting on Cloud Nine at the moment. Watching a pink parade of little girls all dressed up and excited as they skipped and twirled into the London matinee of 'Angelina's Star Performance' was surely one of the highpoints of my life thus far!