slideshow image slideshow image slideshow image slideshow image


balletLORENT's magical retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, written by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Co-produced by Northern Stage.

A Sadler's Wells and New Writing North commission, in association with Durham Book Festival. Research supported by Jerwood Studio at Sadler's Wells.

Filled with dark beauty, balletLORENT's version of Rapunzel combines desire, devastation, romance and rescue with spellbinding effect for adults and children alike. Rapunzel is for a family audience with a recommended age of seven years and above. The production premiered at the Durham Gala Theatre on the 18th October 2012, and has continued to grow and develop ever since, touring across the UK to much critical acclaim. Rapunzel was named 'Performance of the Year' at The Journal Culture Awards 2012.



Artistic Director Liv Lorent was inspired by the dark themes of the original fairy tale, working with a strong team of world-class collaborators and eight of balletLORENT's professional dancers in order to create this full-length work for middle to large-scale venues.

Liv has said; "Most of us remember Rapunzel's hair and the tower, but we're a bit hazy on the rest of the story. It has been told again and again and reinterpreted for children of today through versions like Disney's Tangled, but we're telling an older, slightly darker version, more akin to its Grimm tale origins. We've included a part of the story which is usually neglected and will be telling it through the eyes of different characters."

Research and Development

In July 2011, Liv was offered a week of research and development organised through The Jerwood Studio, a major creative initiative developed by Sadler's Wells Theatre and supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation which allows artists the freedom to explore ideas with collaborators.

Liv used the opportunity to explore her ideas with nine dancers, set and lighting designers and a production manager to see how the company might produce this work. The week focused on the bigger dance scenes within the story and also on set ideas in order to accommodate a large and varied cast. As an experiment, Liv also incorporated a number of children aged from one to fourteen years into the rehearsals. This has since developed into balletLORENT's Young Cast programme for Rapunzel, where a group of young people and toddlers local to each venue are invited to perform alongside balletLORENT's professional dancers.

Rapunzel in the Press

It [Rapunzel] promises to be the next Matilda, the must-get ticket for kids with standards
The Times

Thrillingly angular, elaborate and expressive
The Stage

A sumptuous and entrancing retelling
British Theatre Guide

Everything about the production was fantastic
The Shields Gazette

A true family show that will delight children and grown-ups alike
The Shields Gazette

The Lorent stamp is evident in the style of movement, incorporating much climbing and swinging, indeed physical theatre often feeling more like gymnastics than dance… superbly choreographed and directed.
The Public Reviews

For any parent yearning for a bed-time story beyond the spectrum of pink and for any non-parent who loves (very) Grimm fairytales, balletLORENT’s Rapunzel is perfect.
What's On North East

This is an emotional, at times chilling, and surprisingly sensual ballet, ripe with symbolism, that deals with growing up, motherhood, desires fulfilled and frustrated – stuff that will keep the adults engaged. And judging by all the child-sized heads in front of me bobbing up excitedly and blocking my view, the kids were happy too.

Audience Feedback

It was amazing, hypnotic and magical. My six-year-old twins absolutely loved it and were mesmerised throughout. The music, scenery and costumes were beautiful. Everything was perfect and wonderful
Jo Brown

Rapunzel was absolutely beautiful and spellbinding. Wonderful score, staggeringly imaginative costumes, sensuous and intriguing with great storytelling.
Audience member

The Costume... stunning in every detail, the set design ...enchanting, the music soared, the dancing ...exquisite... the show had my hair standing up on end and felt shudders up and down my spine. It brought one of my childhood favourites to life with such passion and sensitivity. A very moving and powerful show. balletLORENT, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Audience member

One of the most beautiful pieces of dance theatre I have ever seen.
Audience member

Young Cast

balletLORENT would like to thank all of the toddlers and young dancers who have performed as members of the young ensemble across the touring programme:

Durham and Newcastle: Alanna Beat, Hannah Collier, Caitlin Godfrey, Sophie Hall, Juliet Haslam, Bobby Keys, Rose Lewis, Molly O’Brien, George Ong, Alexandria Patterson, Hannah Rutherford, Chloe Shutt, Mia-Rae Walker-Toward and our wonderful toddlers Ena, Marlene, Otto, Emily and James.

Hull: Jessica Addinall, Georgia Harris, Jacob Jackson, Arthur Loades, Paige-Louise Mackenzie, Fergus Murphy, Freya Noman, Lucy Ranner, Lacey Shaw, Sadie Sorensen and our wonderful toddlers Esme, Eva, Maisie and Nanci.

macrobert: Lynne Atkins, Adam Craig, Florence Henderson, Aimee Kyle, Naomi Langford-Thimm, Anya Phillips, Stephen Raby, Sandro Rosta, Poppy Sexton, Katie Sharkie and Rachel Wilson-Laird.

Sadler's Wells (2013): Abigail Aleksander, Kate Brown, Lottie Chivers, Jonah Dryden, Matvej Dubianskij, Daniel Famiyeh, Scarlett Mew-Jenson, Jacob Pownall-Weir, Ren Priestly, Morgan Shepherd and Maisie Woodford.

Oxford Playhouse: Freya Allan, Ronnie Scooby Bates, Harry Andrew Bowden, Jemma Crowther, Harley Jaid Edwards, Thomas Eveleigh, Jamila Okoro, Jordan Lauren Ricketts, Anna Samuels, Laura Stone and Nicolas Winkel.

Eden Court, Inverness: Justin Baxter, Honor Brown, Emma Butler, Christopher Cowie, Megan Fraser, Grace Green, Caitlin Macleod, Rachael Marr, Zara Patience, Grace Poston, Isla Raistrick and Caitlin Thomson.

CAST, Doncaster: Saffron Danika Broad, Asia Chafer, Frida Cotton, Rebecca Duggan, Harriet Embery, Ellie Fish, Eleanor Green, Sacha Jones, Cara Lee Steel, Charlie Sweeney, Martha Warren-Barratt and Alex Young.

Theatre Royal, Winchester: Scarlett Bainbridge, Lia Chen- Wilson, Lisa Chen- Wilson, Rory Clarke, Ella Clow, Amber Gainsborough, Jacob Hoffman, Josh Hoffman, Alexandra Hopkins, Hannah Latham, Kobe Mullin and Morgan Sadler.

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen: Hannah Allan, Anna Byrne, Jessica Davies, Trudi Kathleen Dempster, Olivia Dorwars, Vincent Michael Ewart, Erin Guy, Rachel Hopkinson, Rosie Charlotte Mackley, Annie Mackley, Amy Stewart and Abigail Stewart.

Sadler's Wells (2014): Abigail Aleksander, Marisia Anderson, Vicky Davies, Jonah Dryden, Honey Makwana, Scarlett Mew-Jensen, Freya Lawson, Daisy Pinkerton, Ren Priestly, Lucy Rutter, Malachy Thylmann-Foster and Maisie Woodford.

The Lowry: Olivia Aitchison, Fern Aitchison, Kate Bannister, Amy Davies, Charlie Jenkins, Megan McCormick, Joseph Parrott, Zara Pinnington, Annabelle Pollitt-Walmsley, Robert Riley, Emma Riley, Patrick Sullivan and Heather Woof.

Warwick Arts Centre: Anoop Singh Bains, Maud Beidas, Archie Bloxham, Oliver Butler, Ellen Court, Oscar Francisco, Abby Gadsby, Harley Griffin, Grace Knowles, Scarlette Hulse, Lettie Topping and Emma Tweedle.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre: Debbie Anderson, Jasmin Bouverie, Camille Charles, Erin Garrett, Euan Garrett, Eryn Hill, Holly McDonald, Freya O'Brien, Sophie Smith, Gillis Sinclair, Louis Sinclair and Carys Tulk.

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy: Clara Anderson, Calypso Barclay, Dylan Barclay, Amie Collins, Morgan Faulds, Olivia Henderson, Ava Hoggan, Henri Lynch, Maia MacLennan, Allana Russell, Rebecca Selkirk and Grace Watt.

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield: Daniel Bennett, Rueben Byfield, Evie Swales Gledhill, Joseph Edward Denman Harris, Ailbhe Morton, Nathaniel Ramduny-Ellis, Elena Scott, Lyla-Mae Simmonds, Henrietta Stahelin-Hall, Olivia Taylor, Olivia Vincent, and Shakira Watson.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre: Lucy Birkett, Jessica Butler, Lewis Davis, Abbie Heath, Anna Heath, Mickey Jenkins, Kate Laing, Mhairi MacFarlane, Maggie Neilson, Scarlett Ross, Melissa Shepherd and Chloe Taylor.





Liv Lorent

Liv Lorent
and the dancers

Scenario Writer
Carol Ann Duffy

Music Composed by
Murray Gold

Set Designer
Phil Eddols

Costume Design
Michele Clapton

Lighting Design
Malcolm Rippeth

Lesley Sharp



Gwen Berwick
Gavin Coward
John Kendall
Debbi Purtill
Mariusz Raczynski
Caroline Reece
Adam Russell
Natalie Trewinnard
Philippa White


Durham Gala Theatre, 2012

Hull Truck

Northern Stage, Newcastle

Macrobert, Stirling

Sadler's Wells, 2013

Oxford Playhouse

Eden Court, Inverness

CAST, Doncaster

Theatre Royal, Winchester

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen

Sadler's Wells, 2014

The Lowry

Warwick Arts Centre

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy

Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Pitlochry Festival Theatre