“As this unlikely friendship blossoms against the backdrop of the unthinkable events of World War II, Bruno’s childlike curiosity leads this poignant story to a devastating conclusion.”
I was really pleased when I heard The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was touring, yet when I found out it was the ballet and not a play, I wasn’t as excited to see it. I have only been to the ballet a few times, I’m far more into plays and musicals, therefore this review is based on how this production made me feel as i’m not educated enough to judge ballet. I was more than happy to go with an open mind, hoping I would fall in love with it.
This new production is based on the children’s book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by Irish novelist, John Boyne. It tells the story of a friendship between two boys, Bruno, the son on a concentration camp Commandant, and a young Jewish boy, Shmuel – the boys are divided by a barbed wire fence. Bruno doesn’t understand anything about where Shmuel lives, or who he is. To him, he’s just a new friend – a boy wearing a pair of striped pyjamas.
I knew this was going to be a dark story, unfortunately the first half didn’t grab my attention. I accidentally dosed off a few times; I’m not sure if it was because I was tired, or if I found the story line hard to follow. Personally I feel that ballet isn’t for someone that isn’t familiar with the story, as it can be really hard to understand, even though I have seen the film and knew the story, I still struggled. I had every intention to leave half way through but a friend encouraged me to go back in for the second half and I am glad that I did.
The second half was completely different, the show simply came alive and became interestingly beautiful. I loved how the set with the barbed wire looked so real; plus you could actually feel the relationship between Shmuel and Bruno, how they danced together was so moving.
It was great to see an audience of all ages each being touched in difference ways from the powerful story about friendship – and it really stood out to me that hate is something that’s taught.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas runs until Saturday 10th June 2017 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available from http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.