Visiting a place solo might seem like a daunting prospect, but going to the theatre solo to me sounds like a bad idea.

But here I was, standing in front of Theatre Royal in Nottingham, clutching ONE ticket in my hand, since no-one had the time or the interest to accompany me to see The Great Gatsby, an excellent (as the girl at the box office assured me) production by Northern Ballet, with a full orchestra.

Theatre Royal Nottingham

With this being my first time at the theatre as well as the first time seeing Northern Ballet production, I wondered whether this would prove to be a complete waste of £35 and a whole afternoon.

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I arrive early, sit down at the bar area and look around – the place is packed with people, some having a drink in the bar, others finishing their lunch in the restaurant just before the show starts. Foyer and bar area are furbished simply and do not promise a great degree of sophistication.
The announcement comes that the auditorium is now open and since I am here solo and hence feel much better in the dark, I am one of the first few to enter what could only be described as another time and place – I am transported to the Victorian era with its plush decorum in rich green shades and golden finishes.

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Crystal chandelier and its muted light creates a dramatic atmosphere.

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All of a sudden, I am really excited!
In an ideal world, before going to see the ballet, I would have read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel again, but in the real world… who has the time? Besides, only recently in 2013 all main cinemas showed film of the same title with Leonardo Di Caprio, so not only do I skip the novel, but also save £5 on the programme (thank you Hollywood!), find my seat and wait for the performance to start.
Lights off, the orchestra starts playing, the curtain rises and the magic begins….. (here’s a video of excerpts as found on youtube)

From the first to the very last sound, the music by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett was sheer joy to listen to and left me wanting more.

Staging was really clever, brilliantly evoking the mood of the era and not overloaded with detail.

David Nixon’s choreography was impressive – I will certainly be looking out for his name in future.

I was truly happy to have bought that ticket – for a couple of hours that afternoon I simply forgot where I was and just savoured the magic of dance, music and theatre and, in the end, it didn’t matter that, this time, I was at the theatre solo. Will do it again!