How Dogs Don’t Do Ballet danced onto stage

In Christmas 2010 my then one year old daughter Olive got a book for Christmas, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet.

For a while it sat in a pile with other bedtime story books.

After reading it the first it began working its way to the front of the pile more and more often. My wife Andrea and I were as likely to pick it as the girl.

The irrepressible character of the little dog who wants to dance, the sharp illustrations, the mix of elegance and slapstick and the message that we can be whatever we want, all combined to make something that felt ripe for translating to the stage.

Two years later we’d put together a fantastic team and managed to create a show which performed for two years at the theatre and on nationwide tours. We threw a booster seat in the front of the transit, and the whole family went up and down the country together. By the time the girl started school she’d travelled more than I had as a student.

This spring we’re delighted to be bringing it out of storage and putting it back onstage.

The show is a rich blend of classical ballet and pantomime chaos, pathos and clowning. We worked with a Russian Olympic gymnast, a dancer from the Diaghilev ballet, one of the world’s leading puppeteers and even our very own Front of House Manager playing piano by ear.

Here’s to another season of Biff the pug, dancing lollipops and kazoos.

Written by David Duffy, Head of Production

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