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Press Release: Northern Ballet: Royal Announcement - Victoria by Cathy Marston and Spring Tour 2019

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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Press Release: Northern Ballet: Royal Announcement - Victoria by Cathy Marston and Spring Tour 2019

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24 May 2018
For immediate release


Northern Ballet announces World Première of Victoria



Touring to Leeds, Sheffield, London, Leicester, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Cardiff & Belfast 
from March – June 2019


Northern Ballet also announces performance programme until October 2019


Today, on the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, Northern Ballet has announced it is to première Victoria, a ballet by Cathy Marston in spring 2019. This new ballet will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of Britain’s most iconic monarchs. The world première will take place in Leeds on 9 March 2019 followed by a UK wide tour until June.


Victoria tells the astounding life story of Queen Victoria through the eyes of her youngest child and lifelong companion Beatrice. Travelling back in time from Victoria’s death bed, Beatrice relives her memories of her mother as a secluded widow before discovering her anew as she transcribes the Queen’s intimate diaries. From the accession of the teenage princess Victoria, Beatrice uncovers her mother’s challenging relationship with her own mother; the truth about her passionate marriage to Prince Albert; and her ambiguous relationship with John Brown; as well as key events of her reign from the Opium Wars to the Great Exhibition. Wife, mother, lover, Empress; Victoria presents the various, often conflicting faces of this emblematic monarch, and shows how an act of daughterly devotion became one of history’s most notorious revisions. 


Victoria will be choreographed and directed by the internationally acclaimed Cathy Marston, who is also responsible for the recent creation of Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre which was nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award. Sets and costumes will be designed by Steffen Aarfing whose recent projects include designs for Król Roger at the Royal Opera House. Lighting will be designed by Alastair West who was recently nominated at the Knight of Illumination Awards for his designs for Northern Ballet’s Casanova. Dramaturgy is by British director and writer Uzma Hameed whose previous projects include Woolf Works for The Royal Ballet. The scenario for Victoria has been written by Marston and Hameed in collaboration. Victoria will be set to an original score by Philip Feeney whose previous scores for Northern Ballet include Jane Eyre and Cinderella.


David Nixon OBE, Artistic Director of Northern Ballet, said: ‘Queen Victoria is arguably one of the most iconic women of all time. The legacy of her extraordinary reign extends into the current day and we are privileged to be able to tell her story in dance. 


I am delighted that Cathy Marston accepted my invitation to create this new ballet for us. Cathy’s last creation for Northern Ballet was Jane Eyre which was incredibly well received and a fine addition to our repertoire. Cathy is an exciting and innovative choreographer and a wonderful collaborator so we look forward to welcoming her back to our studios once again to begin Victoria’s journey’.


Cathy Marston said: ‘Northern Ballet explores and commits to its subjects with an incredible depth, bringing not only their amazing technical expertise but a constant desire to use their imagination to transform the way stories can be told through dance. I am very excited to return to the Company to work on such a rich story as that of Queen Victoria for her bicentenary year. Her life was full of extraordinary innovations and characters and I feel very inspired by the unusual perspective of Victoria’s daughter Beatrice, from whom we hope to discover our iconic, but nevertheless elusive subject. Responsible for shaping much of what we know of Queen Victoria today, this mother/daughter relationship will be both a historically and emotionally compelling engine for our new ballet.’


Victoria will tour to Leeds, Sheffield, London, Leicester, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Cardiff and Belfast from March to June 2019. For more information, on sale dates and booking information visit northernballet.com/victoria


Northern Ballet Tour: April – October 2019

Northern Ballet has also announced details of its performance programme up to October 2019. As well as the World Première Tour of Victoria, during the Company’s spring season, Northern Ballet will make its debut at Newcastle’s Northern Stage with a Mixed Programme featuring work by choreographers Kenneth Tindall, Morgann Runcare-Temple and Mlindi Kulashe. Spring will also see the return of the Company’s blockbuster adaptation of David Nixon OBE’s The Great Gatsby which will be performed in Salford and Southampton for the first time. After a short break, Northern Ballet will kick off its autumn season with a new Mixed Programme in Leeds and Doncaster, before embarking on short tours of David Nixon OBE’s Cinderella and Dracula which both return for the first time since 2014. Details of the Company’s plans beyond October 2019 are to be announced with a special 14 month-long programme of events to celebrate Northern Ballet’s 50th anniversary.


For further details and booking information visit northernballet.com/whatson




Notes to Editors


Victoria: Production Credits

Choreography and Direction Cathy Marston

Music Philip Feeney

Set & Costume Design Steffen Aarfing

Lighting Design Alastair West

Dramaturgy and Scenario Uzma Hameed


March – October 2019: Tour Details 



Leeds Grand Theatre

9 – 16 March 2019

Box Office 0844 848 2700*


On general sale 1 June 2018

Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

19 – 23 March 2019

Box Office 0114 249 6000


On sale soon


London Sadler’s Wells

26 – 30 March 2019

Box Office 020 7863 8000


On sale soon


Leicester Curve

2 – 6 April 2019

Box Office 0116 242 3595


On sale June 2018

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

10 – 13 April 2019

Box Office 0131 529 6000


On general sale 4 June 2018


Milton Keynes Theatre

30 April – 4 May 2019

Box Office 0844 871 7652*


On sale soon

Cardiff New Theatre

21 – 25 May 2019

Box Office 029 2087 8889


On general sale 14 September 2018

Belfast Grand Opera House

29 May – 1 June 2019

Box Office 028 9024 1919


On general sale 4 June 2018


Mixed Programme 1 

Newcastle Northern Stage

16 – 18 April 2019

Box Office 0191 230 5151


On sale soon



The Great Gatsby

Salford The Lowry

8 – 11 May 2019

Box Office 0843 208 6000*


On general sale 1 June 2018

Southampton Mayflower Theatre

15 – 18 May 2019

Box Office 02380 711811


On general sale 31 May 2018


Mixed Programme 2

Leeds Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre

4 – 7 September 2019

Box Office 0113 220 8008


On sale soon

Doncaster Cast

13 – 14 September 2019

Box Office 01302 303 959


On sale soon



Woking New Victoria Theatre

18 – 21 September 2019

Box Office 0844 871 7645*


On sale soon

Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

24 – 28 September 2019

Box Office 0114 249 6000


On sale soon



Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

9 – 12 October 2019

Box Office 01227 787787


On sale soon

Hull New Theatre

15 – 19 October 2019

Box Office 01482 300 306


On sale soon


*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.


Northern Ballet


Artistic Director – David Nixon OBE


Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s leading ballet companies and the widest touring ballet company in the UK. Bold and innovative in its approach, Northern Ballet is prolific at creating new full-length work with a unique blend of strong classical technique and world-class storytelling. Northern Ballet’s repertoire embraces popular culture and takes inspiration from literature, legend, opera and the classics, pushing the boundaries of what stories can be told through dance.


A champion for the cultural exports of the North, Leeds-based Northern Ballet is dedicated to bringing world-class story ballets to as many people and places as possible, under the leadership of Artistic Director David Nixon OBE. Northern Ballet’s Company of 46 dancers performs a combination of its full-length ballets and specially created ballets for children at almost 50 venues annually.


For more details of Northern Ballet's tour, on sale dates and booking information, please visit northernballet.com/whatson


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Oh wow - can't wait for this: after Jane Eyre I'm a complete Cathy Marston fangirl! Really pleased too that Philip Feeney will be writing the music: the Jane Eyre score has really stayed with me.


So great to have women's stories told by other women.

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On 24/05/2018 at 21:54, Lisa O`Brien said:

At first when I read the title I thought it meant Northern Ballet had been awarded a Royal Charter and were to be called Royal Northern Ballet.

Funnily enough this would have been the result of a merger between SWRB and Northern which was a possibility in the 80’s!

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3 hours ago, Vanartus said:

Funnily enough this would have been the result of a merger between SWRB and Northern which was a possibility in the 80’s!

The proposed merger was with London Festival Ballet (ENB).  Fortunately it didn’t happen.  Christopher Gable came in as AD and saved the company.

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Vanartus is right, there was a serious possibility in the mid 1970s that the company would merge with the touring section of the Royal Ballet, then based at Sadler's Wells. There have been a number of occasions when the future of Northern Ballet has been precarious.

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9 hours ago, alison said:


That sounds really intersting & has made me contemplate seeing it when it comes to Sadler's Wells. However I've looked at Northern Ballet's website & can't find any information about casting. Presumably there will be multiple casts. Does anyone know if Northern Ballet announce casts in advance, and if so how far in advance, or do you not find out until you get to the theatre for a performance?

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They never used to announce casting in advance but now they sometimes announce casting in the week of the performance.  In my experience it doesn’t usually matter which cast you see.


Sometimes at SW the creating cast gets more performances than the others.  We know from the recent live-streamed event that Pippa Moore is the mature Beatrice, Abigail Prudames and Joseph Taylor are Victoria and Albert.  We also saw Miki Akita and Sean Bates as younger Beatrice and her husband.

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3 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

Thanks for the information @Jan McNulty. As I really dislike booking something without knowing the casting (this isn't just ballet but musicals, opera & plays too) it doesn't incline me to book for this.


If you’re not familiar with the company why does it matter so much?


You could be missing out on something really special.

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9 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:


If you’re not familiar with the company why does it matter so much?


You could be missing out on something really special.


I don't deal well with uncertainty or suspense, because I have Asperger's, so booking for something without knowing the cast is going to cause me anxiety right up until I get to the theatre & find out the cast.

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