Pros: Lunchtime theatre is a great way to get away from the monotony of the office, relax and breathe in some much needed culture. 00 and His 7 is not something you need to think about or work too hard to watch.
Cons: The small stage at the St James Theatre studio doesn’t really allow for much ballet to actually happen. The story is also quite thin and very predictable.
The London Ballet Company’s vision is “to bring a refreshing, quirky and innovative style drawn down from popular culture and topical events; to deliver broader appeal and gain new audiences.” Lunchtime theatre is certainly an innovative way to do this: a quick 45 minute production which gives people a taste of ballet as well as a much needed separation from their computer screens. Those who were there probably very much appreciated not being in the office. And there may well be many who really don’t want to try out ballet for the first time by sitting through three hours of Sleeping Beauty. Nonetheless, although this is a good idea, this production didn’t quite hit the mark.
I will admit that I don’t think this was entirely the company’s fault. The small stage very much limited what could actually be done. The parts people enjoy about ballet are the pirouettes, the jumps and graceful movement around the stage. However, with seven cast members on stage at any one time, it was a little too crowded to do anything too impressive, and this meant that the ballet component of the show was lacking. I don’t doubt that the performers are very capable and with a bigger stage, it would be interesting to see what they could do.
The story was that of a normal James Bond film told through comical acting and dancing to the famous theme tunes. Baddie steals diamond necklace from beautiful girl, Bond hunts down baddie, Bond saves the day and wins the girl. The story is, as the basic premise of most Bond films are, pretty predictable and the reveal of the baddie was not a surprise. However, that doesn’t really matter if it means that people who don’t usually get to the theatre enjoy a few minutes of escapism.
I have seen several lunchtime theatre productions at St James Studio which have been very good indeed, so I would recommend going to future productions. When you’re paying under £10 for some entertainment, it is definitely worth a punt. You can even take your own sandwiches!
Director: Sophie Francesca and Olivia Wright
Creative co-ordinator: Francesco Mangiacasale
Producer: The London Ballet Company
Box Office: 0844 264 2140
Booking Link: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/?eventq=lunchtime+theatre
Book Until: This production is no longer running however the next lunchtime production is Bite-Size Lunchtime Fourplay which is on the 31st March until 4th April.