Northern Ballet’s Victoria
Northern Ballet’s Victoria is a new show inspired by one of our most famous queens.
It was planned to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the queen’s birth, and launched at Harewood House, a stately home which appeared in ITV drama Victoria.
The house has also played host to artefacts from the monarch’s life, making the show’s launch there very appropriate.
No. of Trucks
Leeds, Sheffield, London, Leicester, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Belfast
The ballet explores Victoria’s life through the eyes of her daughter Beatrice, who in real life was tasked with editing Victoria’s diaries for wider consumption. We see the Queen being drawn back into public life, her impact on Beatrice, and the way Beatrice’s life was shaped (often negatively) by her mother’s wishes. We also see portrayals of Victoria’s earlier life including her coronation, her marriage to Albert, her husband’s death and her transition to widowhood.
The theatre tour was produced by Northern Ballet in partnership with the National Ballet of Canada. Stagefreight was very proud to provide stage transport services for the tour.
The choreographer for the show was Cathy Marston, whose international career spans more than twenty years. She’s responsible for several successful shows with Northern Ballet, including Dividing Silence, A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre. Cathy was the perfect choice for this world-first production, as she’s known for her fantastic ability to give old narratives a new perspective for the audience to enjoy. Her skill of matching classical and contemporary art forms not only wows audiences every time, but is also a key reason why Northern Ballet frequently work with Cathy. Victoria is Cathy’s fourth collaboration with Northern Ballet and she’s certainly given this production the royal treatment.
Stagefreight’s lead driver for the show was Allan Spencer. He’s been driving with Stagefreight for 18 years, and he’s been the lead driver on our Northern Ballet tours for the last 2.5 years. Typically, he tours with them for nine months at a time, with up to nine trailers under his leadership. You can read more about him here.
Choreography, Direction and Scenario Cathy Marston
Music Philip Feeney
Set & Costume Design Steffen Aarfing
Lighting Design Alastair West
Dramaturgy and Scenario Uzma Hameed
A Big Success
During the show’s run, it received very positive reviews from critics. The Guardian said the show was “outstandingly choreographed, cinematically scored and danced with nuance”, while The Independent described it as “another success for a company going from strength to strength”. The Reviews Hub was also very positive, describing it as “a fine tribute to the complex humanity of our second longest serving monarch”. The tour logistics also received praise.
Northern Ballet’s Technical Director, Steve Wilkins says:
Stagefreight are a vital part of our technical operations at Northern Ballet and lead driver Allan Spencer is an integral part of our team. Stagefreight provide a professional, flexible and incredibly reliable service.
In my 12 years at Northern Ballet they have provided faultless production logistics.
We at Stagefreight are very pleased to work with clients like Northern Ballet. Their work supports UK talent, gives innovative tours an audience, and lets talented teams show off their abilities.
Please note all images included in this case study are copyrighted to Emma Kauldhar and used with permission from Northern Ballet.