BALLET doesn’t have a reputation for being funny, but A Midsummer Night’s Dream is something a bit different - especially the way Northern Ballet does it.
Act 1 introduces us to a ballet company in which the members are at war with each other.
Preparing for a production of Romeo and Juliet, artistic director Theseus is soon to be married to his principal dancer Hippolta but has decided it is time for her to hang up her ballet shoes against her will.
Meanwhile ballet master Puck (Nicola Gervasi) is angling to get his protégé Demetrius (Giuliano Contadini) the role of Romeo while Hermia (Dreda Blow) as Juliet wants her boyfriend Lysander (Isaac Lee-Baker) to take the part.
Tension pervades the air as the company gets an overnight train to their next touring engagement.
They fall into a world of dreams, and this is where the fun really starts.
The two mixed up pairs of Hermia and Lysander and Demetrius and Helena provide not just some stunning dancing to perfectly choreographed sequences but inject the scenes with a humour that had the audience laughing out loud - a wonderful sound to hear at the ballet.
Puck is a perfectly mischievous imp, Theseus/Oberon (Tobias Batley) is a magical fairy king and Bottom (Darren Goldsmith) adds some marvellous absurdity.
The set is beautifully constructed and the train is an inspired, and awe-inspiring, piece of design.
This show is proof that ballet doesn’t have to be serious to be seriously good.