Aberystwyth Arts Centre Presents: Little Red Riding Hood


Like many students, I find myself caught in the weekly routine of classes, studying, and going out. While it is always enjoyable, I have been seeking other ways to spend my free time outside of university. Whilst looking at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre website, I found out that they were showing Ballet Cymru’s production of Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood & The Three Little Pigs. As someone who has never gone to see a ballet, I was intrigued. I grabbed my friend and headed to the Arts Centre.

We arrived, got our tickets, and bought drinks from the bar. I cannot believe it took me a year and a half of university to discover the Arts Centre theatre. It is a large, beautiful auditorium bathed in a warm glow, with plush seating that creates an inviting atmosphere. The show was almost sold out with many locals and families in the audience, although I noticed that there were not many students. We took our seats, waiting in anticipation as the lights dimmed and the dancers took to the stage.

At first, I was a little nervous that I was not going to be able to keep up. I know the classic story, but I had never seen it performed through dance. However, to my delight, this show had a narrator! The narrator (Robbie Moorcroft) did a fantastic job not only narrating the performance but also embodying the voices of all the characters. There was a sign language interpreter who followed him on stage, which I thought was great for accessibility and inclusivity. I have never seen a live performance with an interpreter, and I appreciate that the company takes that extra step to make the show available for a wider audience.

The first half of the performance consisted of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, which lasted for about 45 minutes before a brief intermission. A note for anyone wanting to see a performance at the Arts Centre, or any form of live theatre: make sure you read the program! After the first half was  done, we were a little confused, thinking the show was over so soon after it had started. Luckily, we didn’t leave the building as the speakers soon told the audience to return. We re-entered the theatre for The Three Little Pigs.

Throughout both sections of the performance, the lighting (Calum Dunbar)  and costuming (Steve Denton/Angharad Spencer) drew the audience into the show. The changes in lighting throughout seamlessly complimented the shifts in the ballet's narrative. The whimsical wardrobe complemented the storytelling and heightened the ambiance of the performance. I was captivated throughout the entire runtime and never found the show disengaging. The dancers delivered wonderful performances, choreographed by Darius James Obe and Amy Doughty, that left me enthralled at a show that I initially hesitated to attend.

I was left wondering why students only made up a small fraction of the audience, and why it took me over a year to go to an Arts Centre event. In my first year, I was intimidated to venture out and try something new. This year, I made it a personal goal to explore more events both on campus and in town. Many might be intimidated by the price of live theatre, but with the student discounts these live shows offer professional theatre at an affordable price. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ballet. I encourage you to go outside your comfort zone and take advantage of the events going on at the Arts Centre!