A Streetcar Named Desire, Norwich

Northern Ballet Theatre proved you do not need Marlon Brando to bring to life to this steamy tale of torment.

By CAROLINE CULOT

The heat was turned up last night when the Northern Ballet Theatre proved you do not need Marlon Brando to bring to life A Streetcar Named Desire, a steamy tale of torment.

The Tennessee Williams play, made famous by the 1951 movie starring Brando and Vivien Leigh, is the latest offering by the NBT, now a regular visitor to Norwich Theatre Royal.

Set in humid New Orleans, it focuses on repressed widow Blanche Dubois who returns home to her sister only to be reminded of her sordid past. Raped by her brother-in-law, she is finally driven mad.

Pushing further forward the ballet frontiers, the NBT has another winner with this production. Swan Lake it is not, but electrifying, passionate, technically faultless it is. And with Charlotte Talbot, in the main role, how can you fail? Talbot stepped right into the character of Blanche. Flirtatious, seductive, tormented by a pain-ridden past – it was all there in dance, and executed with passion and precision. Lesser-known Jonathan Ollivier (last seen as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet) first made an impact by tearing off his shirt and next with his powerful display through dance of pent-up anger and frustration.

Fiona Wallis as Stanley's wife was vibrant and exciting. Using a minimalist, though innovative, set, expect a few surprises on the way.

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t NBT will be returning in May with Madame Butterfly.

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