The book’s success enticed film-makers in Britain and the USA to adapt it for the cinema; and it was subsequently turned into a stage play in a Chichester Festival Theatre co-production that toured Britain.
Now Northern Ballet has become the first dance company to turn this story into a full-length narrative ballet.
The plot of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is heart-wrenching. Set during the second world war, it centres on the friendship between two nine-year-old boys: Bruno, the son of a concentration camp commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish inmate.
Although necessarily secret, the friendship flourishes across the barbed wire fence; but of course there can be no happy ending, and the two boys are inexorably dragged to the story’s harrowing finale.
Northern Ballet’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes from choreographer Daniel de Andrade – told through Bruno’s eyes, this is his first full-length ballet and he was determined to do 'justice to the tension between darkness and innocence in the original'.
The piece features an original score from Oscar-nominated composer Gary Yershon, played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Costumes and sets are by designer Mark Bailey; prominent in his set is the fence which cuts the stage into two and marks the fateful separation between the boys.
This is the second in Northern Ballet’s proposed trilogy of literary adaptations. Casanova, telling the story of the infamous 18th-century libertine, comes to Sadler’s Wells mid-May; and the final piece in the trilogy will be Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
Northern Ballet’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has its world premiere in Doncaster in late May, and then tours the UK – reaching the Richmond Theatre on 6 and 7 June; and Bromley Churchill Theatre on 16 and 17 June.
Age Guidance: suitable for young people from secondary school onwards
|What||Northern Ballet, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas|
|Where||Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey , TW9 1QJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Richmond (underground)|
06 Jun 17 – 07 Jun 17, 19:30 End time TBC
|Price||£12.40-£35.90 plus transaction fee|
|Website||Click here to book via Northern Ballet's website|