A production by Northern Ballet of The Three Musketeers is a wonderful piece of storytelling – movement, music and spectacle coming together to create a unique experience, writes Alan Payne.
Kevin Poeung is well cast as d’Artagnan. In his novel, Dumas describes his central character as ‘too large for a youth, yet too small for an adult’. Poeung, shorter than the dancers playing Athos, Porthos and Aramis, captures this quality perfectly – slightly naive, yet utterly engaging. He combines beautifully with Antoinette Brooks-Daw, as Constance, a lady-in-waiting to the unhappily married Queen Anne. Their romantic passion feels completely convincing. Their body movements blend together.
Sean Bates is comically narcissistic as King Louis XIII – a man who is clearly no match for the scheming Cardinal Richelieu. Nina Queiroz da Silva as Queen Anne is suitably melancholy, even her ecstatic affair with the Duke of Buckingham doomed to fail.
There is much intrigue, sword-fighting, swiftly and skilfully executed, a nicely understated sense of humour, and an alluring chorus of washerwomen – who are clearly a match for the men. The dancing is a delight. The sets are breath-taking.
The music, played by Northern Ballet Sinfonia, is stirring and atmospheric.
Directed and choreographed by David Nixon, The Three Musketeers was performed at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, this month.