Theatre review: The Elves & The Shoemaker, Northern Ballet, at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds.

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A magical winter treat is in store for those of us lucky enough to see The Elves and The Shoemaker, by Northern Ballet.

It struck me what a truly fabulous combination ballet dancing and this delightful Grimm’s fairytale make, with such an uplifting traditional story translated so well by choreographer Daniel de Andrade.

My girls aged 6 and 4 loved the performance and have been inspired and talking non-stop about magic fairy dust and what the naughty elves Tap and Stitch did on stage with their hand made shoes, wonderful costumes and stage sets.

No longer is going to ‘the ballet’ a grown up, drawn out, stuffy experience but a fun-filled, accessible, cultural feast, made possible by Northern Ballet moving headfirst into welcoming and encouraging children of all ages, at its special shows and workshops, with cheap tickets too.

The wonderful Northern Ballet dancers brought to life a timeless story of struggle, despair and then the appearance of kindness against all odds. A subject familiar to most of us, I’m sure.

The world premiere of the show, especially for children, but also suitable for any age including big people, at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre at Northern Ballet headquarters in Leeds, until November 1, is sold out, but will go on to tour nationally in the spring to 16 venues.

It follows the hugely successful short ballets for children Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs, which have also included workshops and performances in unlikely places, with Ugly Duckling even showing on CBeebies television and winning a children’s BAFTA.

The next Northern Ballet show is the Christmas production of Peter Pan, at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, from December 11-20.

To book visit leedsgrandtheatre.com or call 0844 848 2700.

PIC: Simon Hulme

Photo essay: From The Bard to Walliams at Leeds Grand Theatre