DanceEast stages premiere of children's classic Ten Sorry Tales this weekend
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:33 14 December 2019
Phil Conrad Photographer
Fancy something creatively rewarding and, perhaps, a little different for the family this Christmas? Then, DanceEast and leading choreographer Arthur Pita could have just the show you are looking for - a stage adaptation, with songs and live music, of Mick Jackson's contemporary children's classic Ten Sorry Tales.
The show, a collection of vignettes and self-contained short stories taken from the book, has been put together by the same team who created the award-winning Little Match Girl which was premiered at DanceEast three years ago and has since toured the world.
Arthur Pita is using this latest world premiere, co-commissioned by DanceEast and Sadler's Wells, to launch his new company Ballo Arthur Pita.
Ten Sorry Tales is a dance-theatre production based on Mick Jackson's book of modern fables and short stories and has been designed by Arthur's creative team to tell individual stories while still keeping an overall atmosphere to the show.
The show has a dark edge to it in much the same way that Roald Dahl stories do. Arthur describes the show as a fantastical celebration of eccentricity, that will take audiences on a magical journey of curiosity. From the child who sleeps for many, many years, to the sinister sisters who prey on trespassers, to the boy who brings butterflies back to life, Jackson's tales are by turns moving and macabre, humorous and dark.
"It's a very different show for families in so much we tell 10 stories as opposed to one and we adapt the way of telling the story with each different piece, so they reflect the nature of the story. So within the one evening there are ten different styles incorporated into the show.
"The Little Match Girl was very Christmasy, very Italian-esque whereas Ten Sorry Tales is much more Gothic, more humorous and much more English in nature.
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"I am very pleased with the publicity image for the show, the picture of the girl surrounded by bones because it really captures the visual feel of the show. It is taken from a story about a girl who discovers some bones on a cliff top and she become obsessed with collecting bones and she makes necklaces out of them and arranges them in shapes on the ground and then you realise that a few weeks earlier her grandfather had died and this is her trying to make sense of it all.
"She conjures up the memory of him and has a dance with him and it allows her to say goodbye to him in her own way. The evening is made up of a diverse number of stories but they are all touching to the heart."
Does he have a favourite story? "I like the darker ones like the two sisters, The Pearce Sisters, who smoke fish and they save a sailor who is drowning and they bring him home and put him in a pink dressing gown, which he doesn't like, they get offended and throw him back, he drowns and they put him in their smoke house before returning him to the house as a guest...a dead smoked man. That's really dark but there's an absurdity to it which makes it huge fun."
He said that he has enjoyed the collaborative nature of the development which has been two years in the making. The show features music and lyrics by Frank Moon and Bev Lee Harling, design by Yann Seabra and lighting by Mark Doubleday, the cast includes: Valentina Golfieri, Karl Fagerlund Brekke, Danielle Downey, Nathan Goodman, Faith Prendergast, Joshua Smith and Alejandro Postigo.
He said the casting of the show was interesting because he needed both dancers who could sing as well as actors who could dance.
"The design and the lighting was also very important as it played a huge role in tieing all the stories together."
Ten Sorry Tales opens at the Jerwood DanceHouse, on Ipswich Waterfront on Friday 13 December, the production runs for eight performances until Tuesday December 17. The show is recommended for those aged seven upwards. Tickets from £10, £7 concessions, £30 family ticket.
Tickets can be booked by phoning the box office: 01473 295230 or online at danceeast.co.uk