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Angelina Ballerina The Mousical – New Theatre, Cardiff

Music: Barrie Bignold

Choreographer: Matthew Cole

Director: Miranda Larson

Reviewer: Jacqui Onions


The students of Camembert Academy have been chosen to dance on television for the hugely popular show, Dancing with Mice, but when they fail to work together things start to fall apart. Will they have a performance ready by the time the cameras arrive? Angelina Ballerina The Mousical has a fun and engaging story with a message about team work that keeps children entertained throughout; helped along by Barrie Bignold’s catchy music and Matthew Cole’s fun and lively choreography.

The cast of six use the quality tools that they’ve been given to their maximum, giving high energy, polished performances throughout. Georgia Carling as Angelina is not only a highly accomplished singer and dancer, but also creates an instant rapport with the audience and ensures that the children watching stay with her through every stage of the story. She truly is the ballerina that every little girl wants to be.

Nicholas Pack as Marco shows superb characterisation throughout – this never slips, not even for a second. As the rest of the cast stand at the sides watching Angelina’s big solo, each of them stays in character, smiling at their friend and watching intently but with Pack you see every thought that would be running through his character’s head. How did she do that? Wasn’t that beautiful? That was impressive! It’s all written all over his face.

With such strong material and such a strong cast, it is a shame that Isla Shaw’s costume designs lack any imagination. Transforming the actors into the mice that the audience are so familiar with from the television show consisted only of giving them ears, tails and a small black spot on their nose, then replicating the outfits that the characters wear on television. Much as children love this stage show, no magic is created to make them believe that that’s actually Angelina Ballerina on the stage and not just somebody pretending. It also proves to be confusing once the characters change into their costumes to be on television, as without the familiarity of their usual outfits, children can no longer tell which character is which.

This particular performance unfortunately was thwarted with sound problems, which the cast coped with admirably. Daniel Jacob as AJ was affected by this the most, having to do most of the show with his microphone not working at all. This he covered brilliantly. In a performance where he was already giving 100% he found that extra energy from somewhere to ensure his dialogue was heard having thrown everything into upbeat, wordy songs accompanied by full on dance routines.

A highly enjoyable show for young children that, with a little bit more imagination from the creative team could be truly magical.

Runs until 21st October 2012.

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