I’ve been to the Nutcracker on ice, an amazing show from the imperial ice stars. I love figure skating, but I’ve never seen it live. And it isn’t a big thing around here. I wish I could have done figure skating in the past, although I can’t recommend professional figure skating seeing what injuries the olympic figure skaters end up with for the rest of their lives. I was already excited for months to see this show and ordered a wheelchair ticket with an companion ticket. Eventually I found someone to come with me, who was like ‘meh, might be cool to see’ instead of ‘boring..’ As you probably already figured out from my first sentence, I don’t agree with it. And I think it is a great show for everyone, the entire family. There are elements for everyone in it, such as a magician for the children and amazing figure skating skills for which you don’t have to know whether is it a double axel or triple flip or triple lutz. I have never seen a ballet or dance show and am not really into interpreting art such as dance, but I enjoyed seeing things I could connect and I think it was great for the ballet lovers and iterpreters and for those who go in blank. The only thing I did as preparation was reading the story of the nutcracker on wikipedia, so I would know what it was about in big lines. I also don’t know much about classical music, but I liked the music. I think the ice dances matched well with the music, but I’m just a layman 😉
They also had nice costumes and played with lights. There was even an aerial acrobatics act and with fire. There was so much happening on the ice floor/stage, that you couldn’t see everything. It was simply magical and when it ended, I thought I would never be in a fairytale like that again. It was stunning and beautiful. I’m kind of a sensitive person so it can really suck me in the moment. So when I was home again, I really wanted to go again the next day. But because I can’t move myself in the wheelchair I always need a companion and there was nobody who wanted to come. Usually it ends with that, but this time I got some courage and had an idea, which people thought wasn’t really going to work, because it was unusual (but I’m stubborn so hey). I called the theatre (all by myself and I hate calling, I was so nervous but I had this adrenaline rush of excitement to see the show again) and said I wanted to go to the show and order a wheelchair ticket, but that I needed some help because I didn’t have a companion to help me. So if they could pick me up at the entrance and push me to the seat (I actually stay in my wheelchair, but they can remove a theatre chair so you can sit/stand there). And when the show was over push me back to the exit and bring me to the toilet during the intermission and help me to order a drink (you get a complimentary drink with every show). The first person I had on the line was unsure and connected me with another person who liked my enthusiasm and thought it was nice to try out.
It was great, even though I was both really excited and very nervous (the adrenaline rush helped me). I can never go somewhere on my own and this time I could! Now I can go to the theatre even if I can’t find anyone else to come with me and I love it. I think there are things you can enjoy doing/seeing on your own and I definitely can with these things (although it’s also fun to go with someone!). I don’t feel uncomfortable because I can call or text with my fellow Hippo while waiting, although it’s funny to see that I’m usually the only person alone and other guests can find that very strange. Maybe it’s an idea for you too if you’d like to go to a show and you don’t have someone to go with you (although I do still need someone to drive me to the theatre and pick me up, but I know someone who is fine doing that and really excited for me, but doesn’t want to go inside the theatre). I don’t think it is a strange thing to ask the staff and they are happy to help. Although they might be confused first when you only order a wheelchair ticket or when they think they only have to show you the way, because they think you can roll yourself (and keep you waiting for 45mins – yay for whatsapp and a smartphone. If I can stay in touch with my fellow Hippo, I won’t panick as much and don’t feel alone). Going to shows are one of the things I can do, because they are usually not that long (approx. 2 hours including intermission usually) and it is quite close to where I live, so I can rest the days after and before. Only issue is that I still have to pay the higher first rank fee for a wheelchair place (the places are usually not that good, pretty high up in the back, usually it’s the last first rank row) and I wish I could choose my rank (just like other people) to make it more affordable. But I look for discounts everywhere, lol.
I found out that usually you just have to ask. People can forget about you, even when you arranged something, but they’ve almost all responded well when I remind/ask them about it (except for the grumpy lady at the ticket booth who didn’t want to call anyone, but to be fair I think she didn’t really understand that I was a. alone and b. can’t roll myself, although I did tell her multiple times). Asking is difficult for me, but I’ve really grown (when I compare myself to myself 😉 ) and this time it brought me something great. I’ve got something I can do sometimes 🙂 And you feel way more miserable when you’re just standing somewhere all alone and people are just walking by you. So preparation is key for me. Maybe it’s something you can try out too or maybe you already have. Please tell me about it, I love to hear your experiences or wishes, also when you’re a more able bodied person! Oh and I think it’s a positive thing for the theatre too, because they can sell an extra ticket when I’m coming 🙂 Can’t wait for my next theatre “adventure”, it makes life more fun for me (going out of the house and do something fun now and then).