Review: Cleopatra, Lyceum Theatre

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Northern Ballet have revived their clever telling of the fascinating story of the Egyptian queen and her incredible life and loves.

Martha Leebolt beautifully embodied the passion and power of a woman who was prepared to kill her brother-husband Ptolemy in his bath to claim the throne and used her powers of seduction to win over both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

(Special mention should go to Giuliano Contadini, playing Ptolemy, who had to lie prone in his bath on stage for quite a long time.

Hope the water was warm!)

Martha also showed that Cleopatra could be caring and gentle to those that she loved.

As always, her dancing was beautiful and looked effortless, even when doing challenging lifts.

Her partners – Kenneth Tindall as the god Wadjet, Javier Torres as Julius Caesar and Tobias Batley as Mark Antony – matched her moods and moves expertly.

The drama of the piece held together very well as the action flowed between power struggles in Egypt and Rome.

Clever set design ingeniously used projection to change the scene from Cleopatra’s palace to the Roman senate.

The corps and dancers playing supporting roles all worked hard to create a historical and political drama that still looked beautiful and was always entertaining and engaging.

Choreographer David Nixon’s ballet and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s music worked together wonderfully and beautiful costumes added to the atmosphere.

This was Northern Ballet at its breathtaking best.