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Press Release: BalletLORENT's new family show The Velveteen Rabbit comes to the Lilian Baylis Studio this Easter holidays

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The Velveteen Rabbit 
Lillian Baylis Studio  

Friday 5 & Saturday 6 April 2024 

Tickets: £12 - £18 
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com 

© Luke Waddington    

balletLORENT's new family show The Velveteen Rabbit comes to the Lilian Baylis Studio during the Easter holidays from Friday 5 – Saturday 6 April 2024. Inspired by the book of the same name by Margery Williams, balletLORENT reimagines the 102-year-old classic children’s tale in a dance theatre production for the whole family. 


The Velveteen Rabbit sees a nursery of toys come to life through the magic of storytelling, music and dance. In this heartwarming show, a stuffed rabbit and a grown-up boy wonder about the reality of getting older. As shared adventures lead the toy rabbit to grow closer to the young boy who sleeps and plays in the nursery, the pair discover the transformative power of love. In this production, Margery Williams’ tale has been updated to include a new ending and additional characters. The story was first published in Harper's Bazaar in 1921 and was published as a book in 1922.   


Featuring a cast of six dancers, the production is directed by Liv Lorent and narrated by Ben Crompton (Game of Thrones, Pram Face, Ideal). Music is by Dr Who composer Murray Gold and Albie Crompton with lighting design by Malcom Rippeth. Natalie MacGillivray plays the Velveteen Rabbit and Gavin Coward is the Boy. The cast also includes Toby Fitzgibbons, Virginia Scudeletti, Berta Admetlla and Montaine Ponceau. 


The Velveteen Rabbit features a tactile and retro set and props, hand-knitted by a group of women from across Newcastle who have taken part in a pilot creative project set up by balletLORENT, under the guidance of fashion designer Nasir Mazhar. Based in the North East of England, balletLORENT is dedicated to creating ambitious, inclusive and high-quality work. The Velveteen Rabbit had its world premiere at The John Marley Centre in Newcastle last November as part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations. 


Liv Lorent, balletLORENT Artistic Director said The themes of The Velveteen Rabbit of resilience - and finding how to be real - are timeless and encourages children to be their individual best selves brilliantly. This dance theatre adventure transports us to the escapism of childhood imagination and inhabits a land of magical toys and wild rabbits. It’s a show with 12 dancing characters who are funny, wise and relatable for adults and children alike.” 



balletLORENT is a Sadler’s Wells National Partner Company 


Recommended Age Guidance 4 – to 10-year-olds 

Supported by the Mohn Westlake Foundation 



Listings Information 


The Velveteen Rabbit  

Lillian Baylis Studio   

Friday 5 & Saturday 6 April 2024  

Tickets: £12 - £18  
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com   


Cast and creative team  

Natalie MacGillivray - Velveteen Rabbit  

Gavin Coward - Boy, Nana, Astronaut  

Toby Fitzgibbons - Tin Robot, Rag Doll, Wild Rabbit, Soldier  

Virginia Scudeletti - Skin Horse, Playroom Fairy, Pink Dolly  

Berta Admetlla - Wild Rabbit, Monkey, Donkey 

Montaine Ponceau - Wild Rabbit, Robot  


Directed by: Liv Lorent  

Choreography by: Liv Lorent, the Dancers and Creative Partners  

Narrator: Ben Crompton  

Costume and Set Design: Nasir Mazhar  

Music composed and recorded by: Murray Gold and Albie Crompton  

Lighting Designer: Malcom Rippeth  

Creative Partners: Debbi Purtill and Geoff Hopson 


About balletLORENT 

balletLORENT is female led, and is the North East England’s leading Dance Theatre company dedicated to creating ambitious, inclusive, high-quality work, touring to the UK’s most prestigious theatres.   


The company was founded by Liv Lorent (MBE) in 1993 and has toured works nationally and internationally to much acclaim, including: Strange Glitter; The Ball; la nuit intime; Angelmoth; Designer Body; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Underneath the Floorboards The Night Ball and Love StruckballetLORENT’s recent artistic programme has focused on the making of a trilogy of fairytales Directed by Liv Lorent and retold by Poet Laureate Carol Ann DuffyThese works captured family audiences and include Rapunzel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, continuing the collaboration with the most recent fairytale, an original story by Carol Ann Duffy, The Lost Happy Endings. 


About Sadler’s Wells    
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance organisation. We strive to make and share dance that inspires us all. Our acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.    


We commission, produce and present more dance than any other organisation in the world. Since 2005, we have helped to bring more than 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknown. Our acclaimed productions tour the world. Since 2005 we’ve produced 64 new full-length works and performed to audiences of more than two million, touring to 51 countries.    


Each year, over half a million people visit our three London theatres - Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio and Peacock Theatre. Millions more attend our touring productions nationally and internationally or explore our digital platforms, including Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage.   


Sadler’s Wells East   

In 2024 we’re opening a fourth London venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sadler’s Wells East will house a 550-seat mid-scale theatre, as well as facilities for the new Rose Choreographic School and the hip hop theatre training centre, Academy Breakin’ Convention.   

Sadler’s Wells East joins the rich cultural heritage of Stratford, opening in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of the East Bank development alongside the BBC, UAL’s London College of Fashion, UCL and the V&A. Sadler’s Wells East will support artist development and training, and the creation of new work. It will build the infrastructure for dance and make it accessible to more people. Sadler’s Wells East will house a flexible theatre presenting a wide variety of dance performances. Community will be at the heart of Sadler’s Wells East with a large open foyer that can be used by everyone as a meeting or performance space. There will also be dance studios and world-class dance facilities for dancemakers to train, create and rehearse productions.  


Supporting artists  

Supporting artists is at the heart of our work. We have associate artists and companies, which nurture some of the most exciting talent working in dance today. We host the National Youth Dance Company, which draws together some of the brightest young dancers from across the country. Sadler’s Wells Breakin' Convention runs professional development programmes to champion and develop the world’s best hip hop artists, as well as producing, programming and touring groundbreaking hip hop performances.    


Learning and community links  

Around 30,000 people take part in our learning and engagement programmes every year. We support schools local to our theatres in Islington and Stratford, designing experiences for children and young people to watch, explore and critically engage with the arts. We also run Company of Elders, a resident performance company of dancers aged over 60 who rehearse with renowned artists to make new work for public performances locally, nationally and internationally.    


Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.    

Stay up to date with everything Sadler’s Wells on social media     
Facebook: @SadlersWells     
Twitter: @Sadlers_Wells     
Instagram: @sadlers_wells     
YouTube: Sadler’s Wells Theatre    



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