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The Royal Ballet

a photo of a dancer

Former Principal of The Royal Ballet Zenaida Yanowsky is Elizabeth I in this dynamic exploration of her life and loves, a chamber work that weaves dance, music, text and song into an opulent tapestry.

Drawn from letters, diaries, poetry and plays, including material written by her famed suitors, the script for this dance-drama is spoken and sung by female actors and a baritone. Their words illuminate the movements of two dancers. Accompanied by an original score – played on cello, with borrowed musical structures and harmonies from great Elizabethan composers – the elegant and intimate performance is also enriched by sumptuous costumes.

Intrigued as much by her private passions and physicality as her political triumphs, choreographer Will Tuckett in partnership with playwright Alasdair Middleton turned to the writings of the monarch and those around her as a starting point for their piece. Covering key moments in the queen’s reign, it gives us ‘a strikingly visceral sense of the tightrope Elizabeth walked in maintaining her crown,’ says the Guardian.

Tagged with: Theatre & dance Dance

1 hour 30 mins/no interval

Age guidance 14+


Thu 17 May
Post-show talk

Free to same-day ticket holders

Presented by the Barbican


‘A royal gem … beguiles and entertains in equal measure‘


£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

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Barbican Theatre