Matilda the Musical x Rococo Chocolate

A few weeks ago I was treated to a seriously tasty evening, an exclusive preview of the Rococo Chocolate and Matilda The Musical collaboration. The Covent Garden branch of Rococo Chocolate is just round the corner from Matilda’s home at the Cambridge Theatre, and so a joint offering seemed fitting for the musical and chocolate shop. 

Matilda the musical

Matilda The Musical, which is now playing its sixth year in the West End, is one of the most uplifting shows on in London and has been one of my favourites since I first saw it in Stratford. The perfect piece of theatre is suitable for every age with touching songs and hilarious lyrics. 

The ‘Little Bit Naughty’ Package includes a pre-show chocolate tasting event at the Rococo store just across from the theatre, and pair of premium tickets to see the multi-award winning Matilda musical. 

Rococo x MatildaRococo x Matilda

Matilda The Musical’s very special (and grown-up) ‘Little Bit Naughty’ tasting will allow you to sample Rococo’s award-winning artisan chocolates, paired with carefully selected refreshments and drinks.

 Our #MatildaMusicalxRococo Tasting Menu Included: 

Hayman’s Old Tom Gin paired with 65% Basil and Persian Lime Bar and Passionfruit and Rosemary Caramel

Berkswells Sheep’s Milk Cheese paired with 40% Salted Almond and Rosemary Milk Chocolate and 50% Orange blossom and Neroli Milk Chocolate

Kernel Brewery Export Stout paired with Almond, Coffee and Cardamom Marzipan and Rhubarb and Liquorice Ganache

Each of the pairings were unique and surprisingly delicious… even the cheese & chocolate (which I was sceptical about). Rococo founder and owner Chantal Coady explained each of the elements, pointing out interesting facts and telling stories from her amazing chocolate journey with Rococo.

With my sweet tooth satisfied it was time to skip across to the theatre for the evening’s entertainment. It is impossible not to enjoy Matilda, and I left the theatre singing the show’s tunes with a big smile on my face.

Rococo

The ‘Little Bit Naughty’ ticket and chocolate tasting packages are available on Friday 16 June, 23 June and 30 June. The chocolate tasting package includes a premium ticket to Matilda The Musical and a pre-show chocolate tasting experience at Rococo Chocolates’ Covent Garden Boutique.

The Pre-show tasting event will include chocolate pairings with beer, gin and cheese. Packages are priced at £95 per person from See Tickets, and are available to buy here.

Rigoletto, ENO

It is rare that I go and see a Verdi opera without remembering the storyline. After studying the great Italian composer and his operas at university you would think the narrative of Rigoletto would stick in my head, but when I went to see the ENO production a few nights ago it was only the melodies which came to mind. Luckily I had my musical grandmother by my side to explain the plot when I got lost.

In brief the opera tells the tale of a cripple (Rigoletto) and his fair daughter (Gilda), who he locks away for protection. When Rigoletto’s boss (the Duke, a gross womaniser) spies the beautiful girl he sets about to find her. Discovering his daughter has been disgraced, Rigoletto is determined to get revenge on his boss once and for all, but unfortunately the murderer he hires kills the wrong person.

Rigoletto

Jonathan Miller’s iconic production returns to the Coliseum for its 13th revival since the original run in September 1982. Over the last four decades this Miller vision of Rigoletto has become one of the most popular ENO show, never failing to thrill audiences. I am often not a fan of modern realisations of classic operas, but this production of Rigoletto manages to portray the story in a contemporary setting without losing the magic of Verdi’s score.

Nicholas Pallensen plays the title role for the first time and sings with gusto and emotional power. His voice is strong and his acting was hugely convincing. Sydney Mancasola makes her ENO debut as his daughter. Mancasola has a shrill voice which comes into its own during the Act III quartet. The Duke, played by Joshua Guerrero, is suitably charming, and his voice is beautifully velvety which I thought worked well for this lyrical Verdi role.

For opera lovers this production of Rigoletto is a must see, continuing at the ENO until 28 February, book tickets here.

THOROUGHLY MODERN MISS: Pearl Fishers, ENO

The Pearl Fishers was not well-received when first debuted in 1863, but Bizet’s much-critiqued three-act libretto has been transformed by director Penny Woolcock and conductor Roland Boer in this co-production from the ENO and New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Pearl Fishers ENO

Set in an underdeveloped Far East village where the only source of income to the inhabitants is the work of the brave pearl fishers, the story follows the love triangle of Zuria, Nadir and the object of their life-shattering obsession, Leila.

The first thing to notice in this production is the intricacy and realism of the set design. Rickety shacks, a backdrop of the ocean, moving fishing boats: this dynamic set is as intriguing as it is beautiful, and keeps the audience captivated throughout. The highlight of the visuals was, however, the underwater world created in the third act. This stunning display evokes the immense sense of disaster that ripples throughout the fictional town, and echoes the disturbed thoughts of our main characters.

The score is dynamic and uplifting: the chorus is almost a wall of sound, providing bursts of energy throughout, and uniting the story’s themes- desire, rejection, loss- through the emotion of these secondary characters. A stark comparison to this is the unique duet moments that pepper the score with delicate harmony. The famous Pearl Fishers duet- demonstrating the doomed loyalty of Zuria and Nadir’s friendship- does not disappoint in this case, but Leila and Nadir’s love-struck moments are just as heart-felt and touching.

This stunning representation is at the ENO until the 2nd December- if you want to be captivated by a strikingly boisterous yet graceful score and a stunning stage design, I would highly recommend The Pearl Fishers.

Find out more & book tickets here.

Written by Jade Phipps.