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Performance diary

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22 - 23 June
Hall for Cornwall
01872 262 466

26 - 27 June
The Lighthouse, Poole
08700 668 701

29 - 30 June
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
01242 572 573

North East tour 2007


Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
BRB's Ballet Mistress, Marion Tait, outlines some of the different interpretations of the story
Read reviews
See what the critics said about previous Birmingham Royal Ballet performances of Solitaire

Take Five

Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
Click here for an interview with David Bintley, where he talks about his new jazz work
David Bintley
Find out more about the Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Rehearsal photos
Click to see images from the first studio rehearsal with the live band

Pineapple Poll

Choose from the following:

Introductory notes
A plot outline for Pineapple Poll
The creation of Pineapple Poll
John Percival looks at the history of the ballet, and those that helped to produce it
Read reviews of previous Birmingham Royal Ballet performances of this work
Children's activities
Printable colouring in and puzzle sheets for younger audience members

Introductory notes

Pineapple Poll

Scene 1

The ballet begins in Portsmouth, where a ship called HMS Hot Cross Bun has arrived, it's crew spilling into the town on shore leave. The sailors meet a group of pretty young girls, and they court them by buying flowers from the flower seller, Pineapple Poll. Jasper, a young boy who works at the local inn, enters the stage to bring drinks to the sailors. He is in love with Poll, but she haughtily rejects him.

At that moment, the Captain of HMS Hot Cross Bun, Captain Belaye, arrives, much to the delight of all of the girls. The sailors are dismayed at their girlfriends' obvious infatuation for the Captain, as is Jasper when he realises that Pineapple Poll has fallen for the lofty seaman too!

Shortly after, another girl, Blanche, arrives, escorted by her aunt, Mrs Dimple. It is love at first sight for Blanche and Belaye, and while Mrs Dimple is at first hesitant to encourage the two of them, she finally relents. Eventually the Captain has to go back to his ship, leaving all of the girls still swooning and the rest of his crew fuming.

Scene 2

It is nightfall in the port, and the sailors are returning to the ship. Poll crosses the stage, clutching a pile of naval clothes, which she changes into off stage. Boarding the ship after the rest of the crew, she narrowly misses Jasper, who arrives just in time to find Poll's real clothes where she has left them. He mistakes this for a sign that something terrible has happened to Poll, and gathers them up before leaving dejectedly.

Scene 3

The scene begins on board HMS Hot Cross Bun, where captain Belaye is taking his crew through their morning exercises. He does not notice that his crew is somewhat shorter than normal, or that Poll, whose outfit does not even match those of the rest of the sailors, is conducting her exercises largely on ballet points.

Eventually, the ship's cannon is fired, and the Captain finally notices that something is amiss when his supposed crew leap about in shock at the sudden noise Poll even faints on the spot!

Before he can do anything, however, a church bell tolls in the distance. Belaye leaves the ship, returning a short while later with Mrs Dimple and Blanche. Blanche is wearing a bridal gown, and this sight startles the crew even more than the cannon did a moment before, and they all faint with shock. Being the first to recover, Poll whips off her sailor's hat and reveals herself, at which point the rest of the crew do the same, showing themselves to be the other girls from the port.

Blanche and her aunt are naturally aghast at the idea of Captain Belaye sailing around with all these women, while the poor man simply stands with a look of shock on his face. As he takes Mrs Dimple and Blanche to his quarters below deck to try to explain himself, his real crew return to the ship, more than a little miffed with their girlfriends. Jasper is with them, relieved when he sees that Poll is safe. After much cajoling, the girls persuade the sailors to take them back, before they leave the ship to get changed into their regular attire. Jasper, however, still cannot win over Poll's affections.

Eventually Belaye returns to the deck with Blanche and her aunt, with a splendid new jacket that indicates that he has been promoted to the rank of Admiral. This sight is too much for Poll, who commences swooning once again much to Jasper's obvious distress. Mrs Dimple calls him over, and hands him Belaye's old uniform, making him the new Captain of the ship despite a lack of any previous maritime experience. The rest of the crew show their disdain for this move, but at this moment their girlfriends return to the ship. The ladies swoon over the new Captain in his uniform for a brief moment, but this time the other sailors are able to keep them in check. Poll meanwhile, who has no-one to keep her in check, focuses her attentions on the new Captain Jasper, who is more than happy to let her, and everyone ends the story smiling.

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