Monday, April 22

Northern Ballet are back with three Yorkshire shows

Northern Ballet are back with a trio of shows including a brand-new production of Merlin, the return of David Nixon’s bodice ripping Dangerous Liaisons and the world première of a new children’s ballet Pinocchio. 

Merlin will be one of the first productions created during the pandemic to visit theatres across the country. Following its world première in Nottingham in September, Merlin tours to Hull New Theatre, Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Created by the British choreographer Drew McOnie, Merlin tells the tale of a young and inexperienced sorcerer mastering his magic to unite a warring kingdom. The ballet explores Merlin’s teenage impulses and his quest for acceptance set against a backdrop of conflict and divide.

For Olivier winner McOnie his first full length ballet is a very personal piece drawing on his own experiences of feeling different growing up and, more recently, examining what it could mean to be a parent in a non-nuclear family. He is telling a story about how one’s otherness may in fact turn out to be their magic.

Photo Emily Nuttall

Merlin draws on well-known characters from Arthurian legend including Morgan le Fae and the Lady of the Lake. The original story will be brought to life with illusions and magic by Chris Fisher, who worked on Harry Potter & The Cursed Child. 

Fisher is working closely with Northern Ballet’s dancers, melding the discipline of ballet to magic complemented by an ingenious set and costume design.

Dangerous Liaisons returns to Leeds Playhouse from 2nd – 11th September. Choreographed by outgoing company artistic director David Nixon it is a scandalous tale of love and betrayal is inspired by the original novel and performed to Vivaldi’s rousing composition of The Four Seasons played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Northern Ballet’s new children’s ballet, Pinocchio, choreographed by Company dancer Gavin McCaig, gets its world première during October half term from 26th – 30th October with performances from 7th – 11th December at the Leeds Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre. This short 40-minute ballet is designed as the perfect introduction to live music and dance. 

Tickets for all performances are available now at