Ce texte a été écrit pour un forum anglophone. Tout commentaire sur les erreurs de grammaire et/ou d'orthographe est bienvenu. :)
I went to see the show on Satruday night with some French and Belgian fans and I don't quite know what to make of it.
The problem of the show for me is not the dancing itself. I thought that, as a way of expressing inner thoughts and actions, it worked quite well. It also looked very good at times,especially during acts two and three, which contain a few very impressive pieces of choreography, especially the 10th hour (looking very much like a live Dragon Ball episode at times, which is probably not intentional) and the forced marriage of the princess with the baddie.
I have some reservations about the music, which is desperately in need of a broader range of emotions to express. Like most pop people toying with classical musical forms, the PSB tend to put too many notes and instruments in their music, mistakenly believing that everything should sound like a post-romantic symphony. I wish they had trusted a bit more their abilities to write melodies and, at times, tried to emulate simpler musical forms, a string quartet with electronics would have been a very intriguing prospect for instance. To me, "classical" music is in its purer form in chamber music, when just a few instruments manage to produce the whole range of human emotions. Here, in this ballet, they are doing too much of everything, too much percussion, too much volume, and not enough variation. Quite often in music, less is more and I think the PSB forgot it in quite a few scenes.
Still, as a whole, the score mainly does what it needs to do and I think it'd be unfair to say that the Pet Shop Boys's score is the weakest part of the whole thing.
In fact, what I liked least is the way the story is being told on stage, especially the spoof of "Kingdom's got talent". The writers, whoever they are, did not have enough trust in the ability of the public to understand what is going on on stage and felt like they had to spell it out. So they included a few cringeworthy vodka commercials and a Davina McCall-like TV presenter, which looked cheap and completely out of place to me. A fairytale should exist in a fantasy world, and not be polluted with the basest forms of modern media 'culture' (can you tell I'm not a fan of reality TV? :).
This is especially frustrating as a lot of work obviously went into the stage design and the video projections. Almost everything on stage looks great and set designers made great use of the shapes and imagery conjured by the concept of clocks.
All in all, it is probably a flawed show, but not a disastrous one, which for such a hybrid piece of theatre is in itself a commendable achievement. It'd probably work better for me if it was sized down a bit, and more understated. It would add mystery to the show, which is possibly the thing it lacks most.