Chelmsford Ballet Company at the Civic Theatre
And everyone gets a chance to shine: the Fairy Assistants – acolytes bearing the gifts for Aurora – get their moment in the limelight, as well as their Fairy mistresses. Lovely little solos in the Prologue from these five, including the fluttery Songbird [Darci Willsher] and the dainty Woodland Glade [Alycia Potter].
Scarlett Mann [last year's Pineapple Poll] makes a radiant Princess. In her Rose Adage, she looks delighted to be choosing her suitor; her spirited variation is a typical teenager, showing off despite her mother's misgivings. Her Prince is Andrei Teodor Iliescu, a sympathetic partner, with some impressive fireworks in Act III.
The evil Carabosse – her arrival, like the vines and briars, a video projection – is brilliantly brought to life by an imperious Marion Pettet, sweeping in on her chariot with her black-clad entourage. In the divertissements, splendid work from Puss in Boots and The White Cat [Kieran Papworth and Amelia Wallis] and the agile Bluebird of Morgan Wren.
The costumes are stylish and colourful – maroon and gold for the corps in Act III, confectionery pastels in Act I for the Garland Waltz. This sequence, with floral hoops and posies, just one of the stunning ensembles, showing off this enterprising company at its inclusive best.