Newcastle’s balletLORENT to bring darker version of Rapunzel to the stage

The dance company will be performing two versions of the famous story.

Newcastle’s balletLORENT will be showcasing two very different performances of the well-loved story Rapunzel at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

The first will be a family friendly version retelling the famous story of Rapunzel in a classic, beautiful way using movement, music and narration. This show will premiere on September 29 and run until October 2. It is suitable for children aged 5+.

The second is for an adult audience only, and is inspired by the darker version of the story by Brothers Grimm. Themes explored include abuse, grief and obsession. It is named Rapunzel After Dark and will be shown on two nights, September 30 and October 1.

The show will be premiering in Newcastle before embarking on a nationwide tour in 2023.

Both versions are inspired by the original classic story published in 1812, and have decided to focus on the secondary characters within the plot. Both versions have an identical cast, with rising star Benedicta Valentina Mamuini playing Rapunzel and balletLORENT regular Caroline Reece playing the witch. Alongside the main stars is an ensemble of nine dancers, choreographed and directed by balletLORENT owner, Liv Lorent.

The ballet dance company will be showcasing two versions of Rapunzel

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Eccentric and unique costumes are worn throughout the performance to enhance the story, and have been designed by an award winning costume designer Michele Clapton who has also designed costumes for Game of Thrones, The Crown and Mamma Mia. The soundtrack has been created by Murray Gold who also has an impressive line of previous work. Lighting design is by Malcom Rippeth, and the set design is by Phil Eddolls.

Narrating the show is British actor Lesley Sharp, who is well-known for primetime television roles.

The score is recorded by Northern Sinfonia, a British chamber orchestra founded in Newcastle.

This is the second time balletLORENT has brought the story of Rapunzel back to the stage, as the first debuted their version of the show in 2012. The performance went on to win Performance of the Year at The Journal Culture Awards in 2012.

Liv Lorent, artistic director, balletLORENT, said: "Rapunzel and Rapunzel After Dark have many similarities, and share some identical scenes. But Rapunzel After Dark is explicit and unashamedly about female desire, rage and ambition to become a mother no matter what it costs.

"It shows men and women at their most vulnerable, and celebrates hope over adversity.

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"Rapunzel for families is the story of a wife and a witch both desperately wanting a baby, and relates a powerful urgency towards this quest, which is suitable for a family audience.

"It is a big story of a beautiful adolescent Rapunzel who longs for freedom from an overprotective mother. She is trapped, but eventually is free and builds her own new life.

"Both our versions of Rapunzel are told from a female perspective and are made through the female gaze."