Ipswich: Spend a m-ice time with Angelina Ballerina at the Regent

Angelina Ballerina The Mousical writer and director Miranda Larson has just stepped out of what she jokingly describes a dungeon. Just how dark is this stage show?

“I’m actually about to direct an opening ceremony for the skill show in Birmingham which celebrates achievement of young people, we’ve just been brainstorming at the moment. They just don’t like the ideas getting out,” she jokes.

The show coming to the Ipswich Regent on October 27-28 sees Camembert Academy picked to perform on Mouseland’s biggest TV show – Dancing With Mice.

Dance captain Angelina gets into trouble when she tries to do everything herself.

“Meanwhile, the girls and boys are trying to get on with putting the show on; the boys want all their ideas and the girls want all theirs so the whole thing looks like it’s going to be an absolute catastrophe” laughs Miranda.

Fans, and students, can expect the usual mix of ballet, jazz and hip hop dancing the new series is known for.

The cast – mum, dad, you might want to skip this bit if your little one’s close by – aren’t wearing big character heads and clunky costumes that get in the way of really engaging and interacting with the young audience.

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Their look is also taken directly from the CGI show, including the mouselings’ strange lack of whiskers, although costumes have been slightly embellished for theatrical purposes.

“We knew from the beginning we were going to have children on stage and weren’t going to have the original skin costumes; we were going to have live singing and [real] facial expressions.

“Angelina’s a very emotional character so we wanted to get all her characteristics across which is a lot easier to do with a live performer than with somebody with a head on,” Miranda laughs.

It’s music to Angelina, aka Georgia Carling’s mouse ears.

“No, it’s not very graceful is it,” she laughs. “I’ve seen clips of other skins and I just don’t understand how they would do Angelina like that.

“The show is for boys, for girls, even the parents seem to say there’s something for them as well. It’s fun-packed; everyone gets up and dances at the end.”

“It’s a very magical job but we approach children’s productions just as we approach grown-up ones,” assures Miranda. “You want to take things seriously and deliver to the highest quality because children are the toughest audience.

“If they don’t like something they won’t give it a second chance and they’re their characters, they know and love them and you’ve got to do it justice otherwise you know you’re in trouble” she laughs.

Expecting three and four year olds to sit engaged for two 30-minute halves can be a big ask; hence lots of scene changes, dancing and chances for them to join in.

“The moment the cast step out in their costumes with their mice you’re in the world of Angelina,” she says.

“We’ve watched in rehearsals lengthy episodes of Angelina, getting characters’ postures, the way they say their dialogue, the way they dance; we’re bringing those characters to life as much as we can on stage without being micey-er,” she laughs.

So that’s what they’re really doing down in the dungeon.