Sadler’s Wells has been awarded £600,000 from the Monument Trust to support its new work, which includes a ballet developed by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Choreographer Liv Lorent and Duffy will collaborate on the large-scale production of the fairytale Rapunzel, which will premiere at Durham Book Festival in October before touring the UK.
Music will be from composer Murray Gold, who has previously worked on Doctor Who and costume design from Michele Clapton, whose past work includes Game of Thrones.
Lesley Sharp will provide narration alongside eight professional dancers from Lorent’s ballet company, Ballet Lorent, and a cast of young children.
The production marks the first time Duffy has collaborated for dance, having previously written for the stage.
It is also Lorent’s first commission for Sadler’s Wells that will appear on the theatre’s main stage, in March 2013.
She said: “Most of us remember Rapunzel’s hair and the tower, but we’re a bit hazy on the rest of the story. It has been told again and again and reinterpreted for children of today through versions like Disney’s Tangled, but we’re telling an older, slightly darker version, more akin to its Grimm tale origins. We’ve included a part of the story which is usually neglected and will be telling it through the eyes of different characters.”
The grant is the largest sum of money that Sadler’s Wells has ever received for producing new performances.
The Monument Trust is one of 18 Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts and is awarded in three key areas including arts and heritage projects, criminal justice services and health and community care work such as HIV/AIDS projects and social exclusion.
Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells artistic director and chief executive, said: “All our commissioning of new work depends on support from trusts, foundations and individuals as well as the arts council funding we receive. The important role that trusts and foundations play at the moment is to ensure that we can still make ambitious and sometimes challenging work happen at a time when support from the corporate sector is harder to obtain and public subsidy is diminishing.”