Richmond Theatre set to host London première of Northern Ballet’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Northern Ballet has reimagined John Boyne’s bestselling novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in a heart-breaking new production. The first full-length dance adaptation of this world-famous story, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will have its London première at Richmond Theatre on Tues 6 & Wed 7 June 2017.

Telling the story of an unlikely friendship blossoming through the disturbing events of World War II, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas sees a child’s innocent curiosity lead to a devastating conclusion. Previously adapted for a 2008 film by Miramax, this world-first dance adaptation will be choreographed by Northern Ballet’s Artistic Associate Daniel de Andrade. It will feature an original score by Oscar-nominated composer Gary Yershon, sets and costumes designed by Mark Bailey and lighting by Tim Mitchell, with Dramatic Coach Patricia Doyle completing the creative team.

The original storytelling ballet company, Northern Ballet is renowned for creating bold new work challenging the
perceptions of what stories can be told through dance. With its company of exceptional dance actors, Northern Ballet is adept at bringing challenging and provocative stories to life through dance.

Daniel de Andrade says, ‘ I was challenged to develop new storytelling techniques which reflect the first-person perspective of the book without shying away from representing the stark reality of the story’s setting. I was very conscious of doing justice to the tension between darkness and innocence in the original, without sanitising the awful events at its heart.

Author John Boyne comments: ‘ Having already seen my novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas adapted for film and theatre, I’m excited to see Northern Ballet’s adaptation for dance. As a writer with two left feet, I will watch with fascination and envy the skill, grace and elegance of the performers on stage. I have no doubt that the Company will only enhance my work with their particular talents.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will be at Richmond Theatre from Tues 6 June – Wed 7 June

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JEREMY IRONS TO NARRATE VOICES OF THE AMAZON

Sisters Grimm are delighted that Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning Jeremy Irons has agreed to narrate their new show, VOICES OF THE AMAZON, a passionate dance musical from the heart of Brazil. VOICES OF THE AMAZON, which is receiving its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells from 4 to 8 July, is directed by Pietra Mello-Pittman, choreographed by Helen Pickett and composed by Ella Spira in collaboration with Brazilian songwriters Danny Nascimento, Dito Martins and Julien Davis and world‐renowned percussionists Olodum.

Jeremy Irons many roles in film, television and theatre include Brideshead Revisited (Golden Globe nominated), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (BAFTA nominated), Elizabeth 1 (Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner), The MissionReversal of Fortune (Academy Award winner) and The Real Thing on Broadway (Tony Award winner). In October 2011, he was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. He supports a number of charities, including the Prison Phoenix Trust in England, and the London-based Evidence for Development which seeks to improve the lives of the world’s most needy people by preventing famines and delivering food aid, for both of which he is an active patron.

Jeremy Irons said of his involvement in VOICES OF THE AMAZON “I was very much impressed by both Pietra and Ella in the way they approached me and intrigued by the multi-media approach to the world wide problem of deforestation and attacks upon indigenous populations. Something about their spirit came through their proposal and now having worked with them I know it will imbue the final production which I look forward to seeing.”

The international cast of VOICES OF THE AMAZON stars British-born Rachel Maybank ( McQueen at Theatre Royal Haymarket, Manon, Adriana Lecouvreur and Athis at the Royal Opera House) as Beleza, and features Brazilian dancers and singers Charles Damasio, Hicaro Nicolai, Fernanda Muniz, Kauê Ribeiro and Leilani Telles, who make their professional UK debuts in VOICES OF THE AMAZON. Completing the cast are Michelle Buckley, Liam Burke and Kay Elizabeth from the United States, and Stefanos Dimoulas from Greece, as well as musicians Rob Barron – (Musical Director, Piano & Synths), Adam Kovacs (Percussion 1), Matthew West (Percussion 2), Tina Jacobs (Viola) and Lucy Skinner (Cello).

VOICES OF THE AMAZON will open at Sadler’s Wells on 4 July 2017 following an appearance at the Chekhov International Theatre Jubilee Festival in Moscow from 14-16 June. The show will then travel to Singapore to perform at Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands from 28-30 July. The show has recently been announced as part of the line-up for Latitude festival 2017.

Set amidst the Brazilian rainforest, VOICES OF THE AMAZON follows the story of Beleza; a water spirit from the Amazon, whose search to cure her dying sister takes her on a life-changing journey deep into the rainforest.

VOICES OF THE AMAZON features a sensational musical score, containing sounds recorded from the Amazon Rainforest, with music and songs performed in English and Portuguese. Combined with Helen Pickett’s fusion of ballet, contemporary and capoeira, the show aims to highlight the damaging effects of deforestation, the loss of natural medicines and plants, and promises an exhilarating live experience, embracing the true spirit of Brazil.

VOICES OF THE AMAZON will be at Sadler’s Wells from 4 – 8 July 2017

Photo by Giulietta Verdon