Feel-good love and friendship: Footloose the Musical

Sellardoor Productions opens its UK-wide tour of Footloose the Musical to an excitable audience in a packed house at York Theatre Royal. Essentially a feel-good story of love, friendship, and standing up for what you believe in, Footloose is clearly just the kind of toe-tapping tale that York theatre-goers have been craving post-restrictions. Continue reading

The Nutcracker by Vienna Festival Ballet: dance review

Presented in the traditional style of a gouache Victorian Christmas card, Vienna Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker fills the stage in York’s Grand Opera House with the height of Caucasian kitsch. Continue reading


London-based company Ballet Black, celebrating their eighteenth year, return to York Theatre Royal following last year’s successful debut with a Triple Bill featuring INGOMA, contrasting dramatic and inventive storytelling in a lively showcase of modern ballets. Continue reading

Phoenix Dance Theatre: The Rite of Spring & Left Unseen

“The Rite just has to be shocking. If it doesn’t shake you to the core, if it doesn’t make you feel that the guts of the earth are opening up, or at least that the Royal Albert Hall is being immolated in orchestral violence, then the performers just ain’t doing it right.” – Tom Service, BBC Proms 2013 Continue reading

Dance Double Bill: Ensemble Improvisation and Plastic Soul

Accessible from the first moment, the genuine and hilarious Ensemble Improvisation has nothing to do with the austere world of traditional dance forms that newcomers might expect. Director-performer Lewys Holt leads a small cast of performers including Sally Doughty, Pete Shenton, Eleanor Sikorski and Inari Hulkkonen. They wear joyful, colourful everyday clothes: a glittery blue t-shirt, flowy green trousers, pink jeans. The stage is brightly lit, the set is bare except for a pair of microphones. To the left of the stage, Tariq Emam oversees a music station with a computer, drum and gong at hand. Continue reading

Ballet Black Double Bill: dance review

Led by Artistic Director Cassa Pancho, Ballet Black celebrates dancers of Black and Asian descent. Cathy Marston’s 2018 narrative piece is based on the 1963 short story The Suit by South African writer Can Themba. Originally published in the inaugural issue of South African literary journal The Classic, the story was banned by the apartheid regime. Though that setting is somewhat lost here without follow-up reading, the emotional truth of the characters’ experience sings through this delicate re-telling that honours both the tragedy of toxic jealousy and the breathless lightness of finding oneself welcomed unconditionally in another’s arms. Continue reading