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Shakespeare's 450th

Published on Wednesday 23 April, 2014

It's 450 years since the birth of William Shakespeare, and his works are far from being dead as a doornail (Henry VI Part II). In fact his words will live on forever and a day (As You Like It).

In our repertoire we have three productions based on the plays of Shakespeare - Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet.

First up A Midsummer Night's Dream. This production is touring at the moment and instead of Shakespeare's 'play-within-a-play', David Nixon's interpretation features a 'ballet-within-a-ballet', following the trials and tribulations of a touring ballet company in post-war Britain.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

In 1981 our then Artistic Director, Robert de Warren, also choreographed a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In 2015 we'll be bringing Jean-Christophe Maillot's Les Ballets de Monte Carlo production of Romeo & Juliet to the UK stage. Set to Prokofiev's timeless score this beautiful interpretation captures the essence of what it means to be young and in love.

Romeo & Juliet

Also in our repertoire is the Christopher Gable directed Romeo & Juliet with choreography by Massimo Morricone.

Whilst both A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet have both been turned into ballet's by several people over the years, one of Shakespeare's plays has been tackled much less often. The tragedy that is Hamlet. In 2008 with his long-time co-director Patricia Doyle, and music by Philip Feeney, David Nixon OBE took on the challenge to great acclaim.


In our history there are two more ballets based on Shakespeare's works - Romeo & Juliet... Tragic Memories (1978) and Othello (1985) both choreographed by our second Artistic Director, Robert de Warren.

What's your favourite Shakespeare play, and which would you most like seen turned into a ballet?

Phill UpNorth
Digital Manager

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.