THE RIBBON DANCE
by Park Theatre
Now...Im not qualifying any of my praise for Pitchfork Disney but after my blog last night, I did begin to think about Matilda in greater detail...or rather...I thought about Miss Trunchbull’s ribbon dance. This was for me, the highlight of the show... and the subject of much post- show-pub discussion, with the man himself.
Bertie Carvel is a friend of Park Theatre, (he worked with Melli and our Ambassador, David Horovitch on a radio play a few years back) and his unbelievable performance in Matilda has been the stand-out, break through, tour de force (however you like to describe it) performance, of recent theatre legend. The critics have literally been falling over themselves to find enough hyperbolic descriptions for his incarnation of Dahl’s villain; brilliant, genius, versatile, devastatingly original, the star turn, stupendously good, perfectly calibrated, grotesque and subtle, show stopping and the cherry on the cake are just some of them.
Personally...I thought he was superb but I am now, (after meeting him after the show) desperate to watch it all over again... Because, amusingly, what is an ugly, squeaky voiced monster of a woman on stage, is in real life, a deep voiced, tall, dark and handsome man. So the not - so- small matter of his transmogrification becomes all the more intriguing once you realise the dichotomy between character and man is so polarised.
Back to the ribbon dance...the magic here is achieved in the detail. BC does not attempt to parody a ribbon dance, he has ‘got it down’ and thats what’s so funny. He has all the compulsory elements; the flicks, circles, snakes and spirals (genuine; I’ve done my research), he avoids knots and manages to maintain large smooth, flowing movements even pulling off a very graceful jete at the end (not so easy in a fat suit).
For those of you reading this who have seen it already, he did admit to me afterwards that yes, he has spent time studying the Olympic champions and practising in his living room. Lol, I’d love to see that!
I hope Miss Truncnhbull has seen this bronze-winning dance (Anna Bessonova) Beijing 2008... but she’ll need to work on a little more flexibility to bust some of these moves out as the run continues. This ones’ for her: