Chuffed to bits! That's how I felt when I was invited to attend an exclusive preview of Peter Pan on Ice at Venue Cymru, Llandudno. Ok, I was in the middle of a hundred and one jobs and attendance would require me to bribe my son into childcare for an hour or two but what can I say? Totally worth it!
I arrived at the theatre in good time - a miracle for me! I introduced myself at the box office and was sent off to the conference centre, where I introduced myself to the same blank face on another human, and was promptly sent back to the box office. I started to feel a bit of an outsider so resorted to smiling enthusiastically to random passers by in the hope of a pity conversation. It worked. Eventually I met a lovely radio presenter from Dee 106.3 and a great bunch from TVConwy who were also there for the event.
Soon enough we were led into the theatre's auditorium. It was cold and my new foxy outfit was decidedly the wrong choice. I crossed my arms across my chest and hoped my boobies behaved. The stage set was great. A giant story book with the words Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie would have made it clear to the most 'Joey Essex' of people exactly what the show was. The stage floor was frozen and piles of skate-sliced ice were scattered in small piles; which my daughter later commented on that poor Olaf from Frozen had finally learnt what sunshine is...could have cried on the spot!
A group of performers from the Russian Ice Stars glided onto the stage and took up position whilst I settled into a seat, camera in hand ready to film their exclusive performance. Within seconds of them starting however, I found myself on my feet, jaw dropped, emitting "whoah" noises loudly, forgetting that the camera would record sound as well as picture.
Skaters hurtled round the stage at speed before a couple were spinning round and around on a rope hanging from the roof. I tell you, British health and safety would NEVER have allowed it! The ceiling swingers were later introduced to us. Katya, a pirate in the show, was lovely enough to lets us interview her. I marvelled at how she seemed barely out of breath. Katya informed us that she only learned to ice skate when she turned 30 years old and her background is in arial gymnastics. Most of the other cast members have been skating since they were 5 years old; I was so impressed by this chick! I asked her if there were any stunts that she found scary to perform; to which she looked cool as a cucumber and shrugged. That's a "No" then. Scott, the show's director added that he often watches the stunts with apprehension, "After all, Katya is swinging round with her husband Alexander hanging from her feet. We have fire, flying, hola hooping..." 'Hola hooping?' I thought 'What's so dangerous about that?' I found out later when some tiny woman spun about 10 hola hoops which were on fire, whilst skating...WHOAH!
Scott, the director for the Russian Ice Stars' show, explained to us that 95% of the cast are from Russia and the crew are from the Ukraine. They have toured across the world, starting in Kuwait last September, they have been to countries including Australia, India, Spain, Cyprus and Greece, the final shows are right here in Llandudno.
When it was time to leave, the theatre promotions manager offered me a family ticket to come and watch the full show that night - opening night. Of course I said "Yes please"; whilst in my head I was doing a pirouette of complete chuffed'ness. I called my family and told them the good news. The reaction was diluted. Ice skating was apparently not their thing. Tough! They were coming!
7.30pm, the curtain lifted. 7.31pm, a chorus noise emitted from my family "Whoaaahh" That was it, they were entranced for the entire show. "Encore" yelled my son before he nudged me in the ribs "Is this on the telly anytime?" Smug, I told him I'd find the performances on line for him. Back home, the kids practised their ice/floor skating moves in the living room until I was finally able to get them to bed. All in all, thanks to Venue Cymru and the Russian Ice Stars, We'd had a fantastic day!
WATCH THE PREVIEW HERE https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=468169593329851&set=vb.462524613894349&type=2&theatre
Peter Pan On Ice runs from 21-25th May in Venue Cymru, Llandudno. To book tickets visit https://www.venuecymru.co.uk/whats-on/Peter-Pan-on-Ice-2014/season/831.html