Former NAPA students perform in Northern Ballet’s astounding new show

Published: Thursday 19th October 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Celebrated arts company Northern Ballet returns to Hull New Theatre this week with a thrilling stage version of John Boyne’s bestselling novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Adapted into a critically acclaimed movie in 2008, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas tells the story of Bruno, the son of a concentration camp’s commandant, and Shmuel, a young prisoner. Despite the underlying evil of the environment and obvious barriers, the two boys form a secret friendship that is heartwarming, inspiring, and yet doomed from the start.

Northern Ballet’s production is choreographed by its Artistic Associate, Daniel de Andrade, featuring an original score by Oscar-nominated composer Gary Yershon. Meanwhile, two of the cast are returning to their hometown, where they originally studied dance at NAPA.

Ashley Dixon takes the leading role of Shmuel, whilst Dale Rhodes is one of the dancers who portray Lieutenant Kotler. Both are former students of the Northern Academy of Performing Arts and have gone on to do amazing things across the UK and abroad.

Following his time at NAPA, Ashley trained at the Central School of Ballet and has been with Northern Ballet since 2004, which has seen him create the role of Beast in the company’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Dale trained on the Academy of Northern Ballet’s Centre for Advanced Training Programme, at English National Ballet School, and at The Hamburg Ballet School, leading to him dancing with The Hamburg Ballet for four years. He then returned to Yorkshire and joined Northern Ballet in 2016.

Barbara Dawson, CEO of NAPA, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see two former students return to Hull during our year as the UK City of Culture to perform in something really quite special. This shows how roots with NAPA can grow into tremendous things.”

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is at Hull New Theatre from Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 October nightly at 7.30pm. There are matinee performances at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday.

Tickets are from £10. Call 01482 300306 or book online at

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Published: Thursday 19th October 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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