Beauty and the Beast
By Stephanie Ferguson for The Guardian
David Nixon created this version of the fairy tale - a phantasmagoria of grim goblins, dancing cushions, flying fish and magical mirrors - for his former company, BalletMet Columbus, in 1997. Now the artistic director of Northern Ballet Theatre, he has brought the show to his new company intact, but the Gothic vaulted castle, humble cottage and thorny forest of its panto-style sets look a bit hand-me-down compared with the award-winning designs usually associated with NBT.
Nixon goes for the full storybook approach, with olde-worlde pages projected on the curtain and a simple narration. The baddie, La Fee Miserable, flies in on a smoke-snorting dragon to do battle with the goodie, La Bonne Fee, who for some reason travels in a fat blue fish. At times you wonder if it's supposed to be a pastiche or just corny family fun. click for more