Brett Herriot Review

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire, Theatre Royal, Glasgow Review:

“Touches the heart and soul in equal measure

***** 5 Stars

Originally conceived in 2012 and going on to earn critically acclaimed success on both sides of the Atlantic including a run in the USA to mark the 70th anniversary of Tennessee Williams all time classic play noir, Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire is back for brand new Scottish Tour that truly delivers a masterpiece of narrative ballet to touch the soul and heart in equal measure.

Williams classic exploration of humanities ability to survive as we follow the story and life of faded southern belle Blanche Dubois (an impeccable and heart rendering and moving physical performance from Marge Hendrick) who is haunted by the death of her husband Alan (Javier Andreu in a highly nuanced and physically fluid performance) his death the result of Blanche’s discovery of his homosexuality and his long standing affair with lover Jeff (a truly sublime Aaron Venegas). She moves into her sisters Stella’s (Bethany Kingsley-Garner in an astonishing and riveting performance) apartment to try and move on with life, however Stella’s husband Stanley (a shatteringly brutal performance from Ryoichi Hirano) who on discovering Blanche is not all she appears to be sets out to destroy her. Source material you will agree, that has riveted audiences for decades but can it truly transcend the art form and move audiences equally as a dance piece? Thanks to Scottish Ballet the answer is a resounding yes and makes for a truly unforgettable evening of dance theatre.

The production owes much to Director Nancy Meckler’s brave choices, this is adult ballet at its finest and the choice to never shirk from the truth is both brave as it is empowering. It’s a true pleasure to see a same sex relationship delivered with such raw intimacy, honesty and truth. Meckler also goes for the heart whilst not shocking the audience with the themes but delivering them in a brutishly truthful manner. Meckler is to be applauded as is Choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, the Choreography is quite simply flawless as it is brilliant, every ounce of physical ingenuity is wrung from both principal and core de ballet dancers alike it makes for breathtaking and riveting evening of dance of the highest calibre.

The other lynch pin of this production is stunning score from Peter Salem at times sweeping in a filmatic and symphonic nature with moments of stark dread and drama it is quite simply his best work to date especially as its performed by considerable skill and grace by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra under the accomplished baton of Robert Baxter.  

Nicola Turner’s design is a tour de force example of using a stripped back ideology but also bringing to life New Orleans of the 1940’s as viewed through the haze of time added to this Tim Mitchell truly excellent lighting design that’s worthy of every west end plaudit. The blending of the production elements with the performances typifies why Scotland should be justly proud of its National Dance company.

A Streetcar Named Desire is a departure in many ways for Scottish Ballet, but they have announced a new project entitled “Next Generation” to give voice to many new artists and Streetcar tells them there is no story or source material this company won’t consider, these are our shared stories and our collective journeys and as the curtain falls you will leave into the darkness of the night reminded of ballets power to reach beyond our expectations but to our very core as humanity to think, learn and understand and for that Scottish Ballet’s A Streetcar Named Desire deserves to sell out where ever it goes! So grab that gold dust tickets while you can!

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire, Theatre Royal Glasgow, Runs until Saturday 15th April, SOLD OUT for return tickets go to: Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire: Talk Ballet Tickets | Theatre Royal Glasgow in Glasgow | ATG Tickets

 The Production will then tour as follows:

21st-22nd April Inverness Eden Court Theatre for tickets go to: A Streetcar Named Desire | Eden Court (

27th – 29th April His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen for tickets go to: A Streetcar Named Desire | Aberdeen Performing Arts

3rd May – 6th May Festival Theatre Edinburgh for tickets go to: Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire (

22nd – 23rd June The Pickaquoy Centre Kirkwall for tickets go to: A Streetcar Named Desire : SCOTTISH BALLET :: Magnus Festival (

29th – 30th June Lewis Sports Centre Stornoway for tickets go to : Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire – An Lanntair


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s