Birmingham Royal Ballet today announces dates for performance at London’s Sadler’s Wells – 18 – 21 October, with tickets going on general sale on 22 May. The run in Birmingham completely sold out and an extra matinee has been added at 1pm on 24 September. Tickets are still available at Plymouth Theatre Royal 12 – 14 October.
Following an initial two-week rehearsal period, a first listen / look at some of the music and choreography were shared with supporters and media yesterday. The show is still very much a work in progress with months to go until the opening, however early signs show great excitement amongst the ranks involved with Carlos Acosta saying: ‘It has been so great to finally have all of our creative team together after so much planning, and to get started on the actual creation process for this very ambitious show. There has been such an electric atmosphere in the rehearsal room, but also, this is just the beginning, there’s so much more to come!’
Tony Iommi, who has been present at some rehearsals and has been visited in his studio by Black Sabbath Ballet composer Christoper Austin, had this to say about the direction the show is heading in: ‘It’s beginning to feel very real now after so much planning by everyone involved. I have to say I had no idea what our music was going to sound like, how it would work in the context for a ballet, but I’m really excited by what I’ve heard so far. Things are being taken in a really interesting direction and I even dropped into the ballet rehearsal out of curiosity and, well, they’ve got some moves!’
A full-length, three-act, Ballet Now commission, this brand-new work brings together a host of international creatives including lead Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidburg, Cuban designer Alexandre Arrechea, Tony Award winning composer Christopher Austin with additional choreographers Raúl Reinoso and Cassi Abranches and composers Marko Nyberg and Sun Keting. Richard Thomas is dramaturg for the project and lighting design is by Kieron Johnson. Capsule Director Lisa Meyer is Metal Curator. See full biographies for the creative team in notes.
The 8 Black Sabbath tracks that will feature are:Paranoid (Paranoid, 1970); Ironman (Paranoid, 1970); War Pigs (Paranoid, 1970); Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath, 1970); Solitude (Master of Reality, 1971); Orchid (Master of Reality, 1971); Laguna Sunrise (Vol 4, 1972) and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, 1973). The music will be re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia with new compositions inspired by Black Sabbath also performed live by the orchestra. On the stage guitars and drums will be integrated into the performance.
Black Sabbath – The Ballet is the second Birmingham-focussed commission from Carlos Acosta. The first, City of a Thousand Trades which looked at the city’s industrial heritage and multicultural communities, premiered in 2021.
The idea of a Black Sabbath ballet has been on Carlos Acosta’s mind since he first arrived in Birmingham at the start of 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Black Sabbath played their first ever gig in The Crown pub just a stone’s throw from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s base on Thorp Street. The pub was recently saved from demolition and is deemed a heritage site by fans.
Black Sabbath – The Ballet
Sat 23 Sep 7.30pm SOLD OUT
Sun 24 Sep 1pm
Wed 27 Sep 7.30pm PN
Thu 28 Sep 2pm & 7.30pm SOLD OUT
Fri 29 Sep 7.30pm SOLD OUT
Sat 30 Sep 2pm & 7.30pm SOLD OUT
Plymouth Theatre Royal
Thu 12 Oct 7.30pm PN
Fri 13 Oct 7.30pm
Sat 14 Oct 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Sadler’s Wells, London
Wed 18 Oct 7.30pm PN
Thu 19 Oct 7.30pm
Fri 20 Oct 7.30pm
Sat 21 Oct 2pm & 7.30pm
General booking opens 22 May https://www.sadlerswells.com/