Queen Victoria’s diaries revealed a life so fascinating that her daughter Beatrice tried to rewrite history. Her irrepressible love for Albert sparked a royal dynasty, but his untimely death brought the world’s most powerful woman to her knees with grief.
The formidable monarch was a prolific diarist which forms the basis of this emotive and visually sumptuous retelling of her reign by the ever-outstanding Northern Ballet.
Here Victoria's daughter and lifelong companion Beatrice (played by the wonderful Pippa Moore) relives her memories of her mother as a secluded widow before discovering her anew as she transcribes the Queen’s intimate diaries.
A simple set and gorgeous score by Philip Fenney allow the talented cast to soar through sparkling choreography rich with metaphor by Cathy Marston, the driver behind last year's acclaimed Jane Eyre.
Abigail Prudames shines in the title role as a strong but sensuous Victoria, effortlessly tackling the monarch's many conflicting faces- Empress, wife, lover and mother. The raunchy wedding night pas de duex with Albert (played by an elegant Joseph Taylor) was a highlight that garnered chuckles and blushes from the audience.
I did struggle to keep up with the sprawling complexity of the narrative as it flitted from past to present and back again. It's worth investing in a programme and glancing through the synopsis in order to fully appreciate this innovative take on the life of the emblematic Queen.
Victoria will run at the Lyceum Theatre until Saturday, March 23. Tickets for can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.