There will be Christmas at Sadler's Wells after all, as the north London dance house carefully opens its doors following the lengthy Covid lockdown. Sure, audiences will be socially distanced with tickets sold in groups of up to four, and entry to the auditorium in two clearly marked time slots.
Still, all those are minor inconveniences when compared to the sheer joy of actually being able to observe the tradition of taking the family to the theatre for a live show at Christmas.
And not just any show. Choreographer Arthur Pita's The Little Match Girl is a charming, though occasionally dark, dance theatre adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's Christmas tale, which has had successful runs at Sadler's Wells' smaller Lilian Baylis studio for seven consecutive years, but is now transferring to the main stage in an amplified production.
Set in an imaginary Italian town, its central character is Fiammetta, the poor girl who has to sell matches to the rich burghers of her village so her destitute family can survive. She meets a heartless well-off family, who flaunt their prosperity, including food, and show not a shred of humanity towards the girl, but the tale is populated by other more humane characters, and Fiammetta's eventual death of cold and destitution, as the snow falls inexorably around her, is treated with a delicate and charming touch.
Sets are by Yann Seabra and the musical score by Frank Moon. Read Culture Whisper's review of last year's performance here.
Age Guidance: 5 years +
|What||The Little Match Girl, Sadler's Wells at Christmas|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
17 Dec 20 – 27 Dec 20, A variety of starting times, inc 11 am, 3 pm, 5 pm and 7pm. Check website Dur.: 1 hour 5 mins
|Price||£24 + booking fee (children £18)|