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The Little Mermaid
Richard Trinder, Editor
Abigail Prudames as Marilla with Northern Ballet dancers in David-Nixon's The Little Mermaid. Photo by Emma Kauldhar
A shimmering, mystical world of turquoise and aqua-marine filled with sparking reflective rocks, shipwrecks, churning waves, sea horses and of course mermaids is the seasonal treat at Leeds Grand this year.

Northern Ballet and The Northern Ballet Sinfonia have delivered a perfect rendition of David Nixon's new ballet "The Little Mermaid".

Nixon's version of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale, with its World Première in Leeds, is a thing of great beauty.

The costumes are gorgeous flowing gowns that work with the dancers constant movements to give the illusion of being under the sea and subject to its constant ebbs and flows. Mermaids and their friends make seemingly effortless flights across the stage with no hint of the physical effort required. The illusion is so compelling it is difficult to sit still.

Like a scene from an Attenborough special the whole set is illuminated with coruscating light beams. Fish and jelly fish wiggle their way through the set and the most beautiful sea horse called Dillion (the best friend of our eponymous Mermaid, played sinuously by Kevin Poeung) is our constant companion in the deep.

Abigail Prudames takes the part of Marilla and is completely captivating. She has such a wide-eyed expression as she takes in the sights and sounds of her undersea world - and later, during her quest for love, the world above the sea.

Also by Richard Trinder...
Golfing Teddy And The Frog Prince
Phoenix On Fire
Tubular Bells And Interstellar Travels At The Civic
Osud & Trouble In Tahiti
With Great Pleasure - An Exhibition Of Knitwear By Joan Murray
David Nixon said: ‘The Little Mermaid is an enchanting story and the fantastical underwater world of the mermaids evokes such beautiful imagery that it is an excellent addition to our repertoire. So many people have grown up with this classic tale and I am looking forward to bringing this new production to our home audience in Leeds for the first time and reintroducing them to the world beyond the waves.’

The music for The Little Mermaid was commissioned by Northern Ballet from Sally Beamish. She has a great reputation for works relating to Scottish folklore, songs of Selkies and so on. And it shows in the strong central themes she created for each of the key characters, harp music for Marilla, a clarinet theme for Dillion, a trumpet for Prince Adair (the object of Marilla's unrequited love). Sally's music is rich, lush in places, certainly Celtic and Scandinavian in influence and a beautiful accompaniment to the ballet.

Highly recommended for all the family. This is a real treat.

Leeds Grand
Until 17 December 2017 - then on tour

The Little Mermaid, 6th December 2017, 9:30 AM