The WI Centenary is almost at an end, and celebration events for myself as a member of Puckeridge WI have already ranged from listening to a ukelele band in a barn at a Hertfordshire County centenary baton event to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace. The year has come to a fabulous end with a visit to the Royal Opera House to see the Royal Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker.
The event was a collaboration between the WI and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which runs events to promote the Royal Opera House to people who have never experienced it before. As soon as I received the details, I had to register to make sure I qualified as a first time attendee, and then a few days later I was poised at my computer at 9am as soon as the tickets went on sale. I was so lucky to get the maximum six tickets, and made plans to take my husband, young daughters, mother and mother in law to the ballet.
A couple of weeks before the event I received an email saying that there would be a craft challenge to make Nutcracker themed accessories. As committed crafters, my daughters and I got to work. This sugar plum fairy mask was created by my 6 year old based on a mask blank from.I searched Pinterest for ideas and made these Nutcracker earrings, and also created a snowflake headband the night before.
Once at the event, there were various workshops and talks before the performance including a group ballet class, a brass quintet, dressing up workshops and a backstage display. We stopped at the costume restoration talk and saw the work involved keeping the archive of costumes maintained from one production to the next over many years.Next up was the craft room where there were chances to make twirling ballerinas, stop motion animation and clocks. My girls fancied making clocks, but due to the crowds and complexity of the design to be followed, we ended up making the basics and then bringing them home to finish later.
At 12 o’clock, it was time to take our seats. Going into the auditorium was a real WOW moment. My photos don’t convey the scale and grandeur of the place.
The ballet itself was amazing. The staging and performances were fabulous, and I really enjoyed looking across at my little girls’ faces at key moments to see the look of wonder on their faces. Being in a venue with everyone over the age of 40 trying not to sing ‘Everyone’s a Fruit and Nutcase‘ during the Dance des Mirlitons was amusing!
It has been a fabulous centenary, and we are busy planning our programme for 2016. If you would like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. We start back in 2016 on 12th January and your first meeting is free.