Ballet star returns to Backstage

One of Ireland’s leading ballet stars, Zoe Ashe-Browne, will return to the Backstage Theatre this May ten years after winning the Irish National Dance Awards there as a 12 year old in 2002.

One of Ireland’s leading ballet stars, Zoe Ashe-Browne, will return to the Backstage Theatre this May ten years after winning the Irish National Dance Awards there as a 12 year old in 2002.

Zoe will be playing one of literature’s most iconic roles in the revival of Ballet Ireland’s hugely successful production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, choreographed by Ballet Ireland’s choreographer in residence, Morgann Runacre-Temple.

Zoe Ashe-Browne, who began training to be a ballet dancer when she was six years old and later went on to attend the renowned English Ballet School, played Juliet in the original tour of this production in 2010. Despite playing the role so often, Juliet is not a character Zoe ever feels comfortable with.

“It would be insincere to get too comfortable playing this role. In order to show the naivety and innocence of Juliet and to tell the story of a girl becoming a woman, it must be fresh, and it stills feels like I’m playing this iconic character for the first time,” Zoe told the Leader this week.

Described in the Irish Times by Christie Taylor Seaver as “Ireland’s finest full-length production to date,” the performance at the Backstage on May 12 will be the last performance of this run.

“The tragedy of ballet is that it has quite a select audience but Morgann has choreographed it in such a way that it transcends that and it will appeal to a wider audience. She is a very modern choreographer who really embraces the realism of the story and approaches it from a neo-classical point of view,” Zoe adds.

This production is also set to Sergei Prokofiev’s score (currently recognisable as the theme tune from The Apprentice) and will feature Zoe and 15 other professional dancers.

Shakespeare’s tale of the star-crossed lovers, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Against a backdrop of ancient feuds and gang warfare, the ill-fated young couple fall instantly and hopelessly in love.

“It’s a beautiful story, one of the lasting love stories of all time which people can still relate to. The love. The infatuation. We’ve put a modern twist on it, and in this production ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is actually a play within a play as we stage it within a school. It’s an exciting telling of the story,” Zoe said.

Tickets for ‘Romeo & Juliet’ on Saturday 12th May are available on 043 33 47888, from Farrell & Coy in Longford or online on www.backstage.ie.