Britten 100 - First ever staging of ‘Plymouth Town’ ballet

Britten 100 - First ever staging of ‘Plymouth Town’ ballet Since his death, much of Britten’s unperformed early music has come to light. Not least among these is Plymouth Town a 25-minute ballet Britten composed in 1931 following his first year at the Royal College of Music. The scenario – young sailor on the town meets ‘good girls’ who ignore him and ‘bad girl’ who steals his possessions, leaving him repentant as officers escort him back to the ship – foreshadows dominant themes of Britten’s later work: innocence and its loss. As David Matthews writes, the piece has ‘an engaging freshness and vitality that make it a worthy addition to the Britten canon.’

A concert performance was given at Royal College of Music in 2004, and a recording was made by the BBCSO in 2005, but the ballet itself has never been staged, until now. On 1 July Chethams’s School of Music (with conductor Jeremy Pike) and The Hammond Dance School (with choreographer Jane Elliot) will give the full world premiere at the RNCM’S Opera Theatre. An occasion not to miss!

Scores of Plymouth Town are available for purchase here.