Heads Up: The Most Incredible Thing
Cometh the hour, cometh the Pet Shop Boys' ballet
Sunday 06 February 2011
What are we talking about?
A new ballet, based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and the brainchild of electro-pop duo the Pet Shop Boys.
"West End Girls" meet "The Little Match Girl".
Olivier Award-winner Javier de Frutos is in charge of direction and choreography. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe – aka Pet Shop Boys – composed the score. Playwright and director Matthew Dunster adapted Andersen's tale.
Former Royal Ballet principal Ivan Putrov is a soloist, alongside Aaron Sillis and Clemmie Sveaas. Sillis is no stranger to disco: he's danced for the likes of Kylie, Cheryl Cole and the PSBs themselves.
The Early Buzz
Website Slate comments: "There's nothing wrong with JLS, but whatever else you can say about them, they're unlikely to ever perform a song about the Russian revolution, or write the score for a ballet. For that kind of pop thrill we turn to the Pet Shop Boys ... [the ballet's] themes of sacrifice, redemption and justice are very much typical of the subject matter Neil Tennant usually deals in."
While it's their first foray into ballet, the PSBs are known for their cross-media projects: see also their 2001 musical Closer to Heaven, written with playwright Jonathan Harvey; their 2005 soundtrack for Eisenstein's film classic Battleship Potemkin, and their music for David Almond's play My Dad's a Birdman, at the Young Vic last year.
It's great that...
The project came about so serendipitously. Four years ago, Putrov rang Tennant and asked him to write a piece of dance music for him; two days later, Lowe called Tennant and said he'd been reading this Andersen story about a poor man who makes a magnificent clock.
It's a shame that...
After De Frutos's ballet Eternal Damnation to Sancho and Sanchez was pulled from BBC schedules because it was deemed to be too scandalous (it featured a deformed pope abusing a pregnant nun), TV bosses have presumably steered clear this time and there are currently no plans to broadcast the show.
Likely to pull in dance audiences, theatregoers and pop-music fans. And while it's billed as a family friendly piece, those au fait with De Frutos's work may still hope to sniff out a scandal.
The Most Incredible Thing is at Sadler's Wells, London EC1 (sadlerswells.com), 22 to 26 March.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
May the Fourth Be With You: The internet celebrates Star Wars Day with new Twitter symbols and memes
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show