The Three Musketeers, Northern Ballet Review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – runs until 27th October 2018.

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth


Before curtain up at the Lyceum there is a rapturous round of applause in anticipation. The audience are clearly fully aware of what Northern Ballet can deliver and the majority feel like regulars to the companies dramatic productions.

David Nixon has rejuvenated his 2006 adaptation of The Three Musketeers for this tour, we join the heroic trio in a tale of love and friendship against church tyranny in 17th Century France.

Nixons’ version of Alexandre Dumas’ tale contains the main thread of the original storyline, paying homage to it with the most intricate and well choreographed fight scenes. The blend of classical ballet and physical dance theatre is just about right but slightly more traditional than some of Northern Ballets other recent pieces.

Dashing D’Artagnan, played by Kevin Poeung takes on a mission to find his fortune and a place with the fabled royal musketeers, on the mean Parisian Streets. Things take a turn

When he happens to have a run in with the three famous musketeers while out on a session! The challenge takes place and we see some fantastically well oiled fight choreography, made even more challenging by many men on the stage at once. Once the altercation is over, the four men join forces and a beautiful friendship starts to blossom.

The four friends are then drawn into some regal power play between the scheming Cardinal and Queen Anne, who the Cardinal is bent on humiliating over a relationship with the Duke of Buckingham. Will we see the musketeers successful in their plight to retrieve a diamond necklace the Queen gave in a moment of madness to the English Duke? And will it be in time for a royal ball where the Cardinal has manipulated to get King Louis to demand his wife wear the jewels he gave her? All will be revealed in a desperate race across France battling the mysterious spy Lady D’Winter and her evil men.

Real highlights have to include the oriental style dance with a group of females donning fan like dresses. The pas de deux sections are exquisite, a solid display of true talent, some intricate lifts danced in the most elegant manner; this is seen during superb performances between love interests D’Artagnan and Constance, played by Antoinette Brooks-Daw.

The set is rather simple but is that really important? Credit to David Nixon for the beautiful graceful costumes, adding an extra string to the bow of the visual effects. The men are dressed possibly more elegantly than the ladies, creating the charming feeling in which their characters are based around.

Another great tour from the Northern Ballet, maybe not as different or modern as some of their others but if you are wanting a hearty, somewhat traditional chunk of ballet then this is the show for you.