2018 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘Nordic Celebration’, Dec. 20 Was Mellow & Soothing.

by Anura Guruge






It was good. That goes without saying. It would be impossible, a violation of the laws of physics for Cambridge Revels not to be good. There were parts of it that were very good. It, however, unlike some past performances, e.g., last year’s ‘Venetian‘, the 2016 ‘Acadian‘, 2015 ‘Welsh‘, or the ‘Mediterranean’ from a few years back, was not brilliant. But, that is OK. You can only truly appreciate the brilliant ones if you have some ‘average’ ones to measure them up against.

Here are the words that I would use to describe the 2018 Cambridge Revels: languid, gentle, relaxed, colorful …

My 12-year old, a veteran of at least 10 Revels (if not more given that we used to see 2 Revels a year for 3 – 4 years), said outright that it was boring! That was harsh. Overall, as a family, we all agreed that it was ‘OK’ but not great.

It was your quintessential curate’s egg. It was good — very good — in parts.

One way to best describe it is to say that it wasn’t as boisterous as I would have liked. It was not jolly enough! I am sure that part of that has to do with the subject matter — the Nordics. {Smile}. Very nice people and I have spent a lot of quality time in Sweden. But, I think that they too might agree that they are somewhat reserved.

That actually might be THE word — RESERVED.

I realized, halfway through Act 1 that this was very soothing. Given that my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus gives me continuous heart rate I checked my pulse. 56 bpm! That is very relaxed. When watching TV it is around 60. So, this was even more relaxing and soothing than TV! {Smile}

There was one act, #30, ‘Tremannsdans Frå Telemark‘ (a walking dance by three very talented ladies), that was WORLD CLASS. A sword dance without swords.

Act #2 (maybe it was #3, but it was at the start) was also brilliant and promised much. The ‘Christmas Night Elves’, act #33, was ultra-cute.

Of course, the set pieces, Dona Nobis Pacem, Lord of the Dance, Horn Dance, Sword Dance & Sussex Mummer’s Carol were excellent. As my 12-year old commented, “the best parts were the ones that we did!”

The Mummer’s Play was good. Very good.

I am not sure why some of the reviews I read, prior to the show, claimed that this was one of the best. All I can assume is that, unlike I (who has been to upwards of 25 Revels), they are new to this.

We had great seats. Front row, centre balcony. Doesn’t get better than that. The lady who conducted the opening of Act Two, sung by a chorus up on the balcony, stood next to I. That was special. As it transpired we were also the FIRST to enter the theatre. That too was special. Seeing the theatre totally empty.

Anywho, I am already looking forward to the 2019 Revels in Cambridge.

Welcome Yule — and today is Yule.


Related posts:
Search on “Revels“.


by Anura Guruge


 

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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

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