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Cleopatra breaks £1m at the box office

Press release date 
Wed 5 Oct 2011

Northern Ballet's much-acclaimed production of Cleopatra has broken sales of £1,000,000 at the box office in only 10 months.

Since its World Première at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on 26 February the production has toured to 11 theatres across the UK and been seen by over 50,000 people. It has achieved widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. 

In a difficult climate, and having faced substantial cuts in funding, Northern Ballet shows it is prolific as ever by continuing to engage and satisfy audiences hungry for new work.

Cleopatra was created by David Nixon OBE, Artistic Director at Northern Ballet, and Claude-Michel Schönberg, celebrated composer of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. The ballet focuses on Cleopatra as arguably the most powerful woman in the world at the time and on her passionate love affairs with Marc Antony and Julius Caesar.

Not a story widely adapted for British ballet, Cleopatra gained mass popular appeal through the 1963 Hollywood film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The Northern Ballet production was considerably less expensive to create, coming in at £200,000. Northern Ballet’s Cleopatrawas sponsored by The Emerald Foundation.

Cleopatra was Nixon's first new full-length ballet for three years following a very successful 40th Anniversary year of retrospective works and a move for the Company to new purpose-built headquarters.

Having secured funding for three new full-length ballets (including Beauty & the Beastwhich will have its World Première at the Grand Theatre in November) Northern Ballet will soon launch its Sponsor a Dancer Campaign to endeavour to close the gap left by cuts in public funding.

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For further information please contact Ruth Burke-Kennedy, Head of Communications, Northern Ballet  0113 220 8000

Notes for Editors

Northern Ballet is renowned for its full-length narrative productions which embrace popular culture and take inspiration from literature, opera, or give a unique interpretation of classical ballets. The Leeds-based company is committed to touring throughout the UK and overseas, developing new audiences for dance. It has carved a unique place in the UK’s cultural landscape and was voted Britain’s favourite ballet company for three consecutive years at the National Dance Awards. David Nixon received an OBE for services to dance in 2010.

Cleopatra production credits

Music Claude-Michel Schönberg

Choreography David Nixon

Scenario Claude-Michel Schönberg, David Nixon and Patricia Doyle

Orchestrations John Longstaff and Claude-Michel Schönberg

Co-Directed David Nixon and Patricia Doyle

Designed David Nixon and Christopher Giles

Lighting Design Tim Mitchell

Projections Nina Dunn

Cleopatra tour listings

Nottingham Theatre Royal
Tue 27 Sept - Sat 1 Oct
0115 989 5555

New Victoria Theatre Woking
Tue 4 - Sat 8 Oct
0844 871 7645

Theatre Royal Norwich
Tue 11 - Sat 15 Oct
01603 630 000

Beauty & the Beast tour listings

Leeds Grand Theatre (World Première)
Sat 17 - Sat 31 Dec
0844 848 2700

Correction - in the original version of this post we stated, "Since its World Première at the Grand Theatre in Leeds on 26 February the production has toured to 11 theatres across the UK and been seen by over 500,000 people." This has now been corrected to 50,000 people. We apologise for the mistake.

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