Reviewed by Ilze Lee
This year marks 200 years since the birth of one of the most iconic monarchs, Queen Victoria. To mark this occasion, Cathy Marston brings to life this piece of history through an incredible work with Northern Ballet.
We had the privilege to watch this last night at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Act 1 starts with Queen Victoria nearing the end of her life and entrusting her diaries to her daughter, Beatrice. After the Queen’s death, Beatrice starts reading her mother’s diaries, bringing to life parts of her past.
We are taken on a journey of Victoria returning to public duties after a period of mourning, to her becoming Empress of India.
Not all of what is written in the diaries makes for easy memories. Beatrice is distressed about the relationship between her mother and close servant, John Brown. She tears pages out of the diaries to censor some of the truth.
Another mourning period for Queen Victoria ensues after the death of her love, John. Her mother’s grief meant that Beatrice had to bear the brunt of her mother’s fury when she falls in love with Liko.
After some more editing, we are taken to a time where Liko and Beatrice are happily together. The performance between the current and younger Beatrice alongside Liko was an absolute highlight of this ballet.
The lead up to Liko’s death, with an older Beatrice frantically trying to stop him leaving, and a younger Beatrice receiving the news of his death, was done in a way that had the whole audience completely engrossed. It was heartbreaking and beautifully done.
The second act moves to an earlier part of Victoria’s life and Beatrice learns about the growing love between her parents. Her shock about the details in which her mother wrote about that, made for a lovely lighthearted moment, and another quick edit.
Beatrice gets a much deeper understanding of her mother reading about the difficulties around her parent’s roles to the public and as a family. When Albert tragically dies, Queen Victoria retreats into widowhood with her youngest. Beatrice are now able to make peace with her mother’s memory.
The main characters as follow:
Victoria – Abigail Prudames
Albert – Joseph Taylor
Older Beatrice – Pippa Moore
Young Beatrice – Miki Akuta
John Brown – Mindi Kulashe
Lord Melbourne – Riku Ito
Liko – Sean Bates
Victoire – Minju Kang
Conroy – Matthew Topliss
Uncle Leopold – Gavin McCaig
Bertie – Nicola Gervasi
This play was outstanding, I am very happy to recommend this.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Northern Ballet’s Victoria is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 30 April to 4 May 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ