THEATRE: Cleopatra

by Emma Pritchard on Thursday, 19 May 2011

From the moment Claude-Michel Schonberg's score strikes up and the curtain rises, you know you're in for a treat. With moving melodies and striking scenery, Cleopatra captivates from the onset - and that's before you've even seen the dancing.

Telling the story of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, it follows the power struggles she faced with her brother during their joint rule, his murder, her liaison with Caesar, then Mark Antony, and finally her death from an asp bite. It's a lot to fit into one performance but Northern Ballet's clever choreography can only be described as a huge success.

The production is mesmerising. Martha Leebolt excels as Cleopatra and conveys such emotion with every step that it takes effort to tear your eyes away. The routines are demanding, but the troupe dances with effortless grace, a real testament of their dedication and skill.

Already being described as the dance work to see of 2011 and earning praise such as "enchanting" and "sublime", don't expect tickets to stay available for long. Cleopatra is currently on show at Sadler's Wells in London but from 27 September to 15 October, it will be touring nationwide. Find out more at northernballet.com. Book now while you can.

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