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Northern Ballet 2013
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Northern Ballet 2013

Reviews of David Nixon's "The Great Gatsby," which opened March 5, 2013 in Leeds and tours through June.

Kevin Berry for The Stage.

The Stage

Zoe Anderson for the Independent.

Independent

Laura Thompson for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Judith Mackrell for the Guardian.

Guardian

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Northern Ballet 2013

Louise Levene reviews "The Great Gatsby" for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Author:  David [ Wed May 15, 2013 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Northern Ballet 2013

The Great Gatsby
Northern Ballet
Sadler's Wells Theatre, London; May 14, 2013

Charlotte Kasner


You wait for ages, then two come along at once. It is nearly 40 years since the Redford/Farrow film of Fitzgerald’s novel, yet merely four days after a new film version is released, we have David Nixon’s production for Northern Ballet. Probably Fitzgerald's most popular novel, it is however in danger of being swamped by its art deco surroundings: the Redford/Farrow fill sparked an ersatz ‘20s fashion boom and this version does not shy away from being gorgeous.

Jerome Kaplan's set is stunning. George’s garage has more than a hint of Hopper’s “Gas”, although that was painted eighteen years after the date in which Fitzgerald set his novel. He also captures a sense of space and the suggestion of shadows cast by venetian blinds across the set for Myrtle and Tom’s flat is positively film noir, creating a sense of detachment as the tragedy unfolds. He is ably assisted by Tim Mitchell’s lighting which creates evocations of dawn, summer nights and a sunset.

The plot gets a little lost along the way. It is not clear how Gatsby meets Nick; in fact Nick’s character is not clearly defined at all. The confusion over who was driving the car, so vital to an understanding of the ending is also rather buried. The drama of the accident cannot be faulted though, not least because of a very strong performance by Victoria Sibson as Myrtle. Martha Leebolt as Daisy and Tobias Batley as the eponymous hero are also very effective. The device of constantly repeating Gatsby's memories of Daisy during the First World War is very clever especially when three pairs of dancers dance behind the window creating distorted images of Gatsby and Daisy during their pas de deux. The acting is strong throughout, the sense of tension is immense during the build-up to the accident.

Nixon's choreography was patchy though. Whilst the soloists have strong, interesting work, the corps lapse into cliché. Group dances are dull and too long and there is no sense of the desperation with which that generation of bright young things partied, nor of the decadence and drugs that abounded. It is more of a jolly romp in pretty dresses.

Nixon's choreography was patchy though. Whilst the soloists have strong, interesting work, the corps lapse into cliche. Group dances are dull and too long and there is no sense of the desperation with which that generation of bright young things partied, nor of the decadence and drugs that abounded. It is more of a jolly romp in pretty dresses. What it needs is more "Les Biches" and less "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

It was stroke of inspiration to use the recently deceased Richard Rodney Bennett’s music. It zips together well and covers a wide range from jazz to film. The orchestration by John Longstaff and Gavin Sutherland is lush, with a particularly effective pas de trios set to percussive jazz.

It is a brave attempt that works in places and certainly provides and entertaining evening, if not quite succeeding on all counts.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed May 15, 2013 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Northern Ballet 2013

Lindsey Winship reviews the Tuesday, May 14, 2013 performance of "The Great Gatsby" at Sadler's Wells for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Northern Ballet 2013

In the Press, Charles Hutchinson reviews David Nixon's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," performed through September 14, 2013 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

The Press

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Northern Ballet 2013

Louise Levene reviews "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

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