At the theatre

I will never forget my first visit to the Bolshoy Theatre.It was ages ago, but this stands out in my memory quite vividly.My mother bought two advance tickets for a matinee performanceof the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" by Tchaikovsky. We came to thetheatre long before the performance began. A sign at the entranceof the theatre said "full house". Many people were standingat the entrance of the theatre asking if we had an extra ticket.We left our coats in the cloakroom and bought a programme from theusher to see what the cast was. I remember we were glad to seethat Ulanova was dancing the main part. When we came into thehall the orchestra were tuning in their instruments. We found ourseats which were in the stalls and went exploring the theatre. Mymother showed me the boxes, the pit, the dress-circle and balconies. At 12 sharp the lights went down. The conductorappeared and the overture began. After the overture the curtainwent up. I was in raptures over what I saw on the stage. I hadnever seen anything more wonderful. The scenery and the dancingwere superb. The ballet seemed to me a fairy tale. When the lastcurtain fell, the house burst into applause. I applauded somuch, that my hands ached. The cries for encore sounded all overthe theatre. The dancers got many curtain calls and weregiven many flowers. The performance was a great successwith the public. It was one of my brightest memories.

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