Northern Ballet has announced the world première of Pinocchio, a new children’s ballet choreographed and directed by Gavin McCaig. The world première will take place on 26 October 2021 at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds with performances until 30 October, followed by a further run of performances during the festive season from 7 – 11 December 2021.

 Initially intended to première in 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, Pinocchio will be the newest production in Northern Ballet’s pioneering series of short ballets for young people which have also achieved huge success in adaptations for TV and cinema.

 In this original retelling of the Italian story by Carlo Collodi, a lonely carpenter wishes for his puppet Pinocchio to come to life. After his dream comes true by the magic of a wishing well, Pinocchio sets out to prove himself worthy of becoming a real boy.

 With a choreographic debut by Northern Ballet’s Junior Soloist Gavin McCaig, Pinocchio is a child-friendly 40-minute-long ballet, and will be performed to music by Ian Stephens, played live by members of Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Sets are designed by Frankie Bradshaw, lighting by Abbi Fearnley, and costumes designed by Kim Brassley and Carley Marsh.

 Gavin McCaig said: “Having proposed Pinocchio in 2019, I am delighted to get into the studio and begin bringing the characters and story to life with the Company’s world-class dance-actors. In what will be Northern Ballet’s eighth ballet created specifically for young children, it is both a privilege and a pleasure to be creating for the next generation of audiences and artists. I simply can’t wait to see it come to the stage soon.”  

 For more information and booking details visit


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