Little Lord Fauntleroy at the Peacock Theatre
After the huge success of London Children’s Ballet’s production of Snow White, the company returns for four days with the delightful story of Little Lord Fauntleroy, filling the Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre with enchanting family entertainment.
An adaptation from the novel, Little Lord Fauntleroy, penned by English-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett, the story follows a young boy and his widowed mother living in poverty on the busy streets of New York: they don’t have a lot but at least they have each other. A series of events see the little Lord plucked from his home and friends and shipped to England at the request of his estranged British grandfather who is searching for an heir. The character of the grandfather is stone cold but, as in all wonderful stories, he softens and warms to the little Lord and his mother, and the show resolves in a Happy Ever After.
The staging is a treat for the eyes, the candy-coloured New York setting contrasting hugely with the sensible muted tones of the English estate, which gives the whole show a slick, accomplished feel. The main event, obviously, is the incredible company of nine to 16-year-old performers. What these young dancers may lack in experience they confidently make up for with their utterly charming enthusiasm, and the talent within the cast is mind-blowingly spectacular. The crowd-pleasing group numbers are up-beat and packed full of well-timed comic flourishes, but it is in fact in the quieter moments that the performers really shine, showing emotional depth and understanding well beyond their years. The cast of 60 smile and pirouette around the stage with excited determination, and what a treat it is to be delivered a performance so lovingly. The highlight comes in the second half as a young boy shuffles nervously to the front of the stage before presenting and exquisitely beautiful version of Amazing Grace.
The quality of the performance is undeniably professional, directed and executed to the highest standard; it is an entirely pleasurable experience. It is rare and refreshing to see a classical production allow itself to be so unashamedly entertaining. A delight to watch and a real joy for the whole family.
Photo: Nigel Norrington
Little Lord Fauntleroy is on at the Peacock Theatre from 21st until 24th April 2016, for further information or to book visit here.