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Commentary

18 Jul 2020

A family-friendly Friday Premiere - ROH and the Roundhouse presents ZooNation's The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

The Royal Opera House is proud to continue its #OurHouseToYourHouse programme throughout the summer, announcing the Friday Premiere screening of ZooNation’s The Mad Hatter's Tea Party on Friday 31 July at 7pm BST.

Above:The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Dancers of ZooNation

©2016 ROH. Photo by Alice Pennefather.

 

British hip-hop influenced dance company ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company made its Royal Opera House debut in 2014 in the Linbury Theatre with The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, produced by The Royal Ballet. Restaged in 2016 for the unique space of the Roundhouse, this high-energy, fast-paced production features a host of body-popping and break-dancing characters, with live music composed by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde. ZooNation used its energetic and accessible style to reinvent Lewis Carroll’s original story in an imaginative, 21st-century way, exploring perceptions of mental illness and what counts as ‘normal’.

Drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party follows young psychotherapist Ernest who has a PhD in normalization but has his work cut out for him. At his new job in the Institute for Extremely Normal Behaviour, his patients all seem to be a long way from being ‘normal’. There’s Alice, who doesn’t know what size her body should be. The White Rabbit’s OCD means he’s always late. And the Queen of Hearts seems to have a serious problem controlling her anger. But as Ernest gets to know his Wonderland ward, he begins to ask himself: what’s so great about being ‘normal’? Slowly and surely Ernest embraces his own differences and learns with his new friends to celebrate the things that make us who we are.

We look forward to the next in our series of free online broadcasts via YouTube and Facebook, starting this evening (Friday 17 July at 7pm BST) with The Royal Opera’s Faust. David McVicar’s production tells the story of the aged philosopher Faust who makes a bargain with the devil Méphistophélès: in return for youth and the love of Marguerite, Faust will surrender his soul to the devil. The 2019 recording stars Michael Fabiano as Faust, Erwin Schrott as Méphistophélès and Irina Lungu as Marguerite. The Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House are conducted by Dan Ettinger.

Next week, on Friday 24 July at 7pm BST, we will broadcast The Royal Ballet’s landmark production of the classic fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty. With choreography by Marius Petipa, additional choreography by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon and a masterful score by Tchaikovsky, the 2020 recording stars Fumi Kaneko as Princess Aurora, Federico Bonelli as Prince Florimund, Kristen McNally as Carabosse and Gina Storm-Jensen as the Lilac Fairy. Simon Hewett conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

Royal Opera House content continues to be available as part of our ongoing partnership with the BBC. Currently available on demand on BBC Sounds are The Royal Opera’s perfo1rmances of Szymanowski's King Roger (2015), Dvořák’s Rusalka (2012), Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (2013), Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (2014), Strauss’s Elektra (2013) and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (2016).

On BBC iPlayer , BBC Four is currently screening Royal Opera House: The Reopening in which Anita Rani, Katie Derham and Antonio Pappano introduce highlights from the three Live from Covent Garden concerts. The 90-minute programme includes the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Morgen performed by Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales, Vadim Muntagirov’s p erformance of Frederick Ashton’s 'Dance of the Blessed Spirits', the central pas de deux from Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto performed by Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke and a pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour performed by Mayara Magri and Matthew Ball. Also featured are performances of classic opera arias and songs by Gerald Finley, Louise Alder, Toby Spence, David Butt Philip, Sarah Connolly and the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists, alongside musicians from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

From 26 July the ROH and The Luna Drive In Cinema will be broadcasting four ROH favourites at iconic drive-in cinema locations around the country. Broadcasts of La bohème and La Traviata, as well as The Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be screened in stunning outdoor locations including Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Allianz Park, Knebworth House, Tatton Park and Harewood House.

For details of all ROH broadcasts, creative activities and unique content, follow #OurHouseToYourHouse.

We are honoured to dedicate the online premiere of The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to the to the memory of Teneisha Bonner, a true force of the dance world.

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