My lovely friend Candi Bell messaged me last week to say there was a play on “somewhere near Reading” about Bellydancing, and did I want to go? I was definitely up for it, so we decided to be spontaneous and go on Saturday evening. It was at the Mill at Sonning, which is indeed near Reading, and * spoiler alert * it was delightful!
It’s a bit Calendar Girls-y, a bit Stepping Out-y, in that it’s all about how going to a bellydance class brings friendship, personal growth and empowerment to a group of women from all walks of life. While both Candi and I had reservations about the way the class was depicted (I don’t think any teacher nowadays would insist on students having to bare their bellies), it was mostly very true to our own experiences of learning and teaching bellydance. It was warm-hearted and positive in its portrayal of the students and their families, and represented a real cross-section of the kind of students we often see in our classes. It even included an element of male bellydance, without presenting it as weird, drag or male stripping. The dancing was choreographed by London dancer Amalura, and some of the actors appear to have really taken it on board!
The theatre is quite small but it created a sense of intimacy that draws you in to the action.
The ticket price seemed a bit high at first glance, but it includes your dinner, and I can certainly recommend the food – it was delicious! The service was excellent and the whole evening was well organised and run like a well-oiled machine.
I’m really glad we decided to be spontaneous!