Ballet surprises aboard HMS Hot Cross Bun

SOUTHERN Youth Ballet will present the rarely performed Pineapple Poll, a British ballet for Jubilee Year, at the Congress Theatre on Saturday, October 27 (5pm).

As well as pleasing many local balletomanes Pineapple Poll, first staged in 1951 by Sadler’s Wells, will also delight Gilbert & Sullivan fans.

The music, played by the Southern Youth Ballet Orchestra was written by Arthur Sullivan and the ballet was inspired by W.S. Gilbert’s ballad, The Bumboat Woman’s Story.

The story is set in Portsmouth, where it seems that despite the ballet’s 19th Century setting, the craze for fans to mob their celebrity hero is just as strong as it is today.

The girls of Portsmouth find Captain Belaye so irresistible that they disguise themselves as sailors to go aboard his ship, HMS Hot Cross Bun – but they are in for a surprise.

Danny Williams, 17, is dancing Captain Belaye. He is a guest dancer from London, making his first appearance with SYB.

Diana Patience, 17, dances the title role. She has been with the company for some time and danced Clara in last year’s production of The Nutcracker.

Her admirer, who of course she ignores, is Jasper, the pot boy danced by Luke Crook, 18, another regular with SYB.

Eastbourne dancer Isabel Cronin, 16, dances Blanche, the object of the Captain’s affections.

The company is made up of some 50 plus dancers, 14 of whom comes from London where there are trained by Louise Lister from Eastbourne.

Highlights of the production include a dream sea ballet, spectacular costumes, many made especially for the dancers in Thailand and an additional scene which uses the music of the Russian composer Glazunov who wrote the music for Raymonda (1898).

Tickets cost from £9.50-£15.50, call 412000.