At Fat Sam’s grand slam speakeasy… [San Francisco Ballet Programme B]

I’ve often maintained that it’s the sign of a good night out when you get home with a feather boa, plastic trilby, hands that simply will not get clean and eyeliner you’re struggling to fully remove the day after. Well, no I haven’t often maintained that – just last night. What I have often maintained though is that staying out past midnight on a ‘school night’ is perhaps not my wisest of plans BUT for the sake of yesterday it was totally and utterly oh so worth it. And not just for my new freebies.

The San Francisco Ballet are still in town (HURRAH, can we keep them forever?) so yesterday afternoon I duly trotted off to Sadler’s Wells to see programme B and hoping that nobody was judging me too hard because my dress was super short and my heels super high owing to my ensuing engagement…

Curtain up this time was on Helgi Tomasson’s Trio which I loved, absolutely loved. Even in spite of the slightly sinister undertones of the middle part of the triptych, it’s still one of those ballets that gives you the warm fuzzies and makes you glad to be alive. It opens with a joy abounding piece which is ace and has super dresses for the women, then moves into the slightly more sinister middle trio which is like… I dunno, kind of a ‘Song of Earth lite’ but without all that hard work Mahler and MacMillan to deal with. That’s not to detract from Trio just because I don’t particularly get on with Song of Earth because Trio is fantastic but that was the impression I got. It then moves back into a happier stompier piece with overtones of character dances, ending on a joyful high and a wish for just a few minutes more.

From there the programme moved on to Christopher Wheeldon’s Ghosts which was… oh, it was just beautiful, visually stunning. It’s one of those pieces that reaches out, grabs you and doesn’t let go. I… I just don’t think I can find words for it. But you should all see it if you get the opportunity to.

The final piece was Ashley Page’s Guide to strange places which I just… augh, I couldn’t quite get into. I tried, I really tried but it just… it was one of those moments with an abstract-ish piece that I just got that sinking feeling of ‘I’ve seen it somewhere before’. It had some moments of brilliance, it was danced superbly but I couldn’t quite make the connection.

From the Wells, I hotfooted it back to Angel because I was making the slightly unusual segue of an afternoon at the ballet to a Puppini Sisters gig at a SHH TOP SEKRIT SPEAKEASY*. It was brilliant. The speakeasy element is what lead to the feather boa, plastic trilby and grubby hands – when there’s a table with dressing up gear I am so there. Unfortunately the feather boa leaked dye all over my hands which I didn’t realise until after the set… Never mind (well, I kind of do on account of still being a bit grimy around the fingertips this morning!). The gig itself was ace and the fact it was in a tiny, tiny venue was really super. Although I’m still a little woe-faced over Steph leaving, her replacement Terianne, seems super lovely and talented – plus she has a reassuring northern accent and this is pleasing. The set was a good selection of things from across the years including my particular favourite of Moi, je joue.

All in all, totally worth staying out well past my bedtime for…

*Yes, I’ve been singing THAT song from Bugsy Malone for days.

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