Imaginative flight of the Red Balloon

The Red Balloon, Royal Opera House on the Road; New Wolsey Theatre, matinee and evening performance tonight.Director and choreographer Aletta Collins has created an imaginative and touching version of Albert Lamorisse's French silent film classic of the same name.

The Red Balloon, Royal Opera House on the Road; New Wolsey Theatre

Director and choreographer Aletta Collins has created an imaginative and touching version of Albert Lamorisse's French silent film classic of the same name. Produced by ROH2, a division of the Royal Opera House, this truly enchanting, hour-long children's show incorporates dance, theatre, puppetry and fun live music.

The delightful tale starts early one morning in 1950s Paris, when the circus comes to town. Next we meet the excited children of the village, on their way to school. After high jinks in the class room, poor Pascal, the main character, is blamed for misbehaving, even though it wasn't his fault, and given a detention. But on the way home from school, he encounters a large red balloon, which appears to have a life of its own and takes a liking to Pascal.

The story evolves as the boy and his new-found friend get up to all sorts of adventures, including going to the circus. The dancing is superb throughout, and the scenes change often enough to hold the attention of both adults and children alike. The music is wonderful, enhancing the action with fast, staccato sections when the children are playing, and I found myself becoming engrossed in the story and really empathising with the characters, especially when Pascal.

This is a fabulous, fun, fairytale of a show that I would appeal to any young theatre goers. There are two shows today don't miss out on this piece of dance theatre magic.

Katy Evans

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