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Rehearsals (World Ballet Day)

Ballet Reimagined


Compelling ballet Hamlet returns to the Yorkshire stage

Press release date 
Wed 17 Aug 2011

Compelling ballet Hamlet returns to the Yorkshire stage.

Northern Ballet's widely-acclaimed production of Hamlet returns to theatres in Yorkshire this autumn with performances at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Sheffield Lyceum Theatre.

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 occupied Paris, where Hamlet's mind unravels against the backdrop of one of the most terrifying periods in modern history. Billed as 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 morther 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.

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Touring to

This production is not currently on tour. Take a look at our national tour listings to see what we're performing and where.

Previously toured to...

Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre
0114 249 6000
Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse
0113 213 7700
Milton Keynes Theatre
0844 871 7652
London, Sadler's Wells
0844 412 4300
Nottingham, Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555
Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre
01227 787787
Leeds, Grand Theatre
0844 848 2700

This table displays past performances of this production.