Northern Ballet media release
For Immediate Release
Compelling ballet Hamlet returns to the Yorkshire stage
Northern Ballet’s widely-acclaimed production of Hamlet returns to theatres in Yorkshirethis autumn with performances at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 9 – 17 September and Sheffield Lyceum Theatre on 20 – 24 September.
Created by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE and co-directed by Northern Ballet Associate Artist Patricia Doyle, the production originally premièred in 2008. It is set in the early 1940s in Nazi occupiedParis, where Hamlet’s mind unravels against the backdrop of one of the most terrifying periods in modern history. Billed a ‘big boys ballet’ the production challenges traditional assumptions about ballet and is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.
The ballet is performed to a specially commissioned score from celebrated British composer Philip Feeney and follows a young man who arrives back from the front to find his home and world is not the one he left behind. His father is dead, his mother has married his Uncle and the enemy occupies his city. As his world descends into chaos, the boundaries between truth and deception, sanity and insanity become distorted.
David Nixon says: “Hamlet is a young man who starts out with everything but loses it all. It is a story that people immediately identify with and there is much about it that has resonance in our darker corners. Maybe that’s why it is so popular, because somewhere deep inside of us, at some time, we all debate whether to be or not to be.”
On the challenges of writing a scenario based on such a well-known literary work, Patricia Doyle says: “It was daunting as we couldn’t use any of the text – the famous soliloquies – but instead express these in dance and with emotion. Through dance, we can interpret the story and its central character in another way, staying true to Shakespeare’s inspiration and imagination, but at the same time making it a little more contemporary by relating it to a fairly recent past.”
Hamlet is brought to life with atmospheric lighting from Tim Mitchell and stunning 1940s Parisian style sets and costumes from ex-Northern ballet dancer Christopher Giles.
Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse,Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill,Leeds,LS2 7UP
Dates: Fri 9 September – Sun 15 September
Performances: Evenings – 7.15pm, Matinees: Sat 10 and 17 Sept – 2pm . Tickets: £20 – £30 (Discounts, concessions and group rates available)
Box Office: 0113 213 7700 or West Yorkshire Playhouse website
Venue: Sheffield Lyceum Theatre,55 Norfolk Street,Sheffield,S1 1DA
Dates: Tues 20 September – Sat 24 September
Performances: Evenings – 7.45pm, Matinees: Wed – 2pm and Sat- 3pm Tickets: £16 – £32 (Discounts, concessions and group rates available)
Box Office: 0114 249 6000 or Sheffield Theatre website
Northern Ballet Revealed, £4
See for yourself what it takes to be a dancer when you watch our dancers put through their paces in daily class and find out more about Hamlet with an informal talk.
Wed 21 September, 10.45am – 12.15pm at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre
Choreography and Direction: David Nixon
Co-Direction: Patricia Doyle
Music: Philip Feeney
Design: Christopher Giles
Lighting Design: Tim Mitchell
Scenario: David Nixon and Patricia Doyle