A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Northern Ballet Theatre

Sarah Hardy Norwich Theatre Royal

Sarah Hardy

Norwich Theatre Royal

The Leeds-based company is always made most welcome, with dance fans enjoying a mixture of classic steps and highly contemporary choreography.

As ever, artistic director David Nixon puts his own stamp on this Shakespearean favourite, transposing it to a 1940s touring ballet company.

Bard purists will probably feel that this jars somewhat, and indeed several subtleties are lost as the piece is played for as many laughs as possible. But the main characters remain - the ever-present and slightly sinister Puck (Victoria Sibson) and lovesick Bottom (Darren Goldsmith) - plus the original plot of squabbling lovers who finally sort things out!

It's not much of a company piece although the three couples do well, especially Theseus (Hirnao Takahashi) and Hippolyta (Keiko Amemori) but, for me, the long-serving Steven Wheeler steals the show. He plays a very camp wardrobe master to perfection, with your eyes unable to leave his ultra quick feet.

Most Read

Also one to note is Pippa Moore, with some of the best moves as the lovesick Helena, working hard to get her man.

Act two, the dream sequence - most people's favourite - is perhaps the least successful section, being a bit over-long and bawdy, but, overall, this is another solid piece from the NBT, of whom much is always expected.

Hamlet is its latest adventure, so let's hope that this visits us soon.

t The show continues until Saturday, May 2. Details on 01603 630000 or www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk