The Bridgerton Ball, an immersive period experience
If you've fallen under the spell of the romantic-sex period series Bridgerton on Netflix , you've probably heard of the Queen's Ball: A Bridgerton Experience. After Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago, the event is finally settling in Montreal.
Described as an “immersive show”, the Bridgerton ball takes place at the contemporary art Arsenal, completely transformed for the occasion. In a setting filled with flowers and chandeliers, guests immersed in the English Regency era can present themselves to the Queen in a curtsey with the hope of being named the diamond of the season . But beware, you'll be subject to the gossip of Lady Whistledown, who passes on commentary throughout!
The experience is divided into two parts: the first 45 minutes are mainly for photo shoots, while the second part, which takes place in another room, is devoted to the dance and show portion. This one includes some acrobatics and a dance number presenting a love story worthy of the pen of Julia Quinn, author of the books that inspired the series. However, the performances remain quite short, if we take into account the duration of the event, which is 90 minutes.
Like Bridgerton, the whole thing is offered to us under well-known tunes, such as Bad Guy by Billie Eilish or Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, taken up by a string quartet, all of which the members sport a dandy look, wig included. However, we break with the times when the guests are invited to dance to pop songs like On the Floor or Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It ). But to see the enthusiasm in the room, few people are offended by this anachronism!
On site, we discover an audience of 17 years (the minimum age to enter) to 77 years. The vast majority of people get into the theme by putting on evening dresses, if not outright disguise to look straight out of the early 19th century. We are also strongly encouraged to do so to take full advantage of the experience: taking a photo in front of the millinery shop in jeans and a t-shirt does not have the same effect!
If the fans of the series or of the era find their account, the Bal de la Reine would benefit from lasting an entire evening. We feel rushed out when the lights come on and a message on the intercom asks us to leave the premises “immediately”, since another performance starts half an hour later. It leaves a taste of cultural fast food to end the experience. Outside, a horde of people with a tiara on their heads repeat to themselves that “it has gone too quickly”.
The Bridgerton Ball is held in Montreal from Wednesday to Sunday, and this , until July. Admission sells for around $50, or $90 and more for the V.I.P. formula, which includes a cocktail and access to a space to better view the show from a distance.
To get an invitation from the Queen (that means buying tickets), go to the event website.