Newcastle cultural export named in UK's top 5 of 2022

Newcastle cultural export named in UK’s top 5 of 2022


Ballet Lorent celebrates 30 years in 2023

A family production from a Newcastle company has been named one of the best five dance shows of the year.

Ballet Lorent’s The Lost Happy Endings was included in theatre industry’s bible The Stage’s annual top picks. The Benwell-based dance company, which also runs youth dance projects, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023.

In the show, which is based on a book by Carol Ann Duffy, a wicked witch steals all the familiar happy endings from children’s fairy tales, causing tears at bedtime all over the world. Heroine Jub uses her strength and creativity to rewrite some alternative happily ever afters in gold pen on the night sky.

With costumes by fashion designer Nasir Mazhar, and a score by Dr Who composer Murray Gold, The Lost Happy Endings was at Theatre Royal for two performances in March, before embarking on a tour including famous dance theatre Sadler’s Wells in London.

Ballet Lorent premiered The Lost Happy Endings at Northern Stage in October 2019, but was only able to complete one date of their national tour in February 2020 before the pandemic hit and the tour was cancelled. 

The top five dance picks appeared as part of The Stage’s annual Top 50 round up of the year, with five of the places going to dance shows.

The Stage’s dance reviewer, Donald Hutera, said of the show: “Crafted with great charm, wit and spirit, this dance-theatre fairytale (drawn from a short story by Carol Ann Duffy) staged by the Newcastle-based company Ballet Lorent was a mischievous and moving all-ages delight. 

“Featuring charming, character-based choreography from the company’s artistic director Liv Lorent and voice-over narration from Joanna Lumley – just the right combination of plummy and tongue-in-cheek – the concoction was happy-making indeed.”

Liv Lorent, artistic director, Ballet Lorent, which is based at the John Marley Centre in Benwell, said: “We are delighted to be included in this prestigious list of top 50 shows for 2022. 

“Every year we push ourselves to become ever more relatable with our productions and focus on creating performances of exceptional wonder and warmth for family and adult audiences. Thank you to all who came to share in this experience with us.”

Ballet Lorent celebrates its 30th anniversary next year with a series of special performances. The first takes place in Newcastle next month. The Becoming is about the unparalleled powers of performance and fashion to transform oneself.  

Taking inspiration from iconic images of dancers throughout the 20th century,  the piece explores how we use clothing to play with and explore identity.  It is suitable for ages 16+ and is at Boiler Shop 18 & 19 January 2023.

Ballet Lorent is also nationally touring a production of Rapunzel in 2023.

Follow Us