Dominic North

📷 : Chris Mann

As a principal dancer with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Dominic North is due to reprise his role of Angelo in The Car Man on select dates when it opens at the Royal Albert Hall on 9th June, running until 19th June. Last month, Dominic finished his tour as Fritz in Nutcracker!, a role he’s previously played in 2011, and prior to the pandemic, he had been playing Julian Craster in The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells, after performing in the world premiere in 2016/17. During his time with Matthew Bourne so far, Dominic has created a number of roles including Cyril Vane in Dorian Gray and Ralph in Lord of the Flies, and amongst his other productions, he has played The Prince in Swan Lake (for which he was also Rehearsal Director), Leo in Sleeping Beauty and Edward in Edward Scissorhands. Dominic chats to us about reprising his role of Angelo in Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man next month, his recent run as Fritz in Nutcracker! and being a principal dancer with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

In June, you are reprising your role of Angelo in Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man, what are you looking forward to most for the run?

Returning to one of my favourite shows. The role of Angelo has some of the best choreography and character journey of any role I’ve performed. A real career highlight.

Why would you recommend booking tickets to see the show at the Royal Albert Hall and how different do you think it will be to perform there?

It’s a fantastic show and this is a very special one-off event. It might not ever happen like this again.

You’ve recently finished performing as Fritz in Nutcracker! and played the character previously in 2011, what is the character like to play?

Fritz is so great to play. Probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.

How was it touring with the production and seeing the audience response to the show?

It had been nearly 18 months since I’d toured. So it was proper lovely to have audiences again. We’re very lucky as our audiences give us great reactions.

📷 : Johan Persson

Having appeared as Julian Craster in the world premiere of The Red Shoes in 2016/17, what was it like returning for the 2019/20 production at Sadler’s Wells?

I loved returning to The Red Shoes. I had such fond memories of creating the show. We were very fortunate to have filmed the show at Sadler’s just before the lockdown.

What do you enjoy most about playing The Prince in Swan Lake and how was it being Rehearsal Director in 2019?

Well, it’s just simply an iconic role in an iconic show. Helping to run the show is an honour. I really wanted to try and pass on the knowledge that had been given to me. I found myself saying sentences that Matthew Bourne, Scott Ambler, Etta Murfitt or Andrew Corbett had said to me years ago.

Had you seen Swan Lake before originally being cast in 2004 and what do you remember most from making your debut for the Matthew Bourne company with this role?

Yes, I had. I’d even studied it at college for my dance A-Level. I remember it was in Oxford and I had two different parts in the first two shows. I went wrong right at the front in Act 4!!! I just carried on and pretended I was meant to do it. Great times.

How was your time in Cinderella and what is the show like to do?

I was so lucky to get to do Cinderella. As I’d only performed it for a couple of months in 2011 as injury cover. I even got to perform as the Pilot, which was created by one of my idols Adam Cooper.

We understand you created the role of Ralph in Lord of the Flies before appearing in the show in 2014 and 2017, can you tell us what Lord of the Flies is like to be part of as Ralph?

Lord of the Flies is a great show to be a part of as it involves a cast of young men. It’s an amazing project that gives guys an opportunity to feel what dance is all about. It has given many the desire to then go on and train to be in the performing arts. What is even more fantastic is they have then come back to perform with the company as professionals.

📷 : Johan Persson

You played and created Leo in Sleeping Beauty, how was this?

That show is a great challenge. There are four acts and each one has a very different style of dance. Leo is a cheeky chappie leading man role. He gets to do some awesome duets with Aurora. He even gets to do some puppetry.

What is Edward like to play in Edward Scissorhands and do you have any favourite memories from performing the role?

Edward Scissorhands is probably the best role I’ve ever performed. It taught me so much learning that role. The top memory I have is probably my first show that was at the Sydney Opera House. My family even flew out to watch me do it there.

How was the experience performing in Early Adventures and can you say more about it?

It’s special to do the company’s early works. To see where the style that New Adventures has become known for started. I performed parts that Matthew Bourne and Scott Ambler had danced.

Early in your career with Matthew Bourne, you played and created Cyril Vane in Dorian Gray, what did you enjoy most about this project?

The show’s style was very different to what I’d performed up until then. The choreography had quite a commercial feel. As it was modern day and pretty jazzy. There is a brilliant section that is called ‘white club’. It was my favourite style of dance that I first started doing as a child. Before I did any contemporary or ballet.

What is it like having your performances filmed for screen releases?

Being in a filmed performance is lovely. I don’t actually like watching myself perform, I’m not sure many dancers do as we’re usually quite critical. But I’m sure later in life to have those kind of shows is rewarding. Show the grandkids sort of thing.

📷 : Chris Mann

Since starting as a performer with Matthew Bourne, do you have any stand-out highlights over the years as a principal dancer with the company?

Well, I did my first principal show 16 or 17 years ago so there have been so, so many since then. Just to still be involved with Matt and this company is unbelievable to me.

It’s madness that I’ve been a part of 26 contracts of ten different shows and managed to play 11 principal roles along the way.

Where does your love of dance come from and is it something you always wanted to do?

I’m not sure. My mum danced when she was young. My twin sister danced as well. I just wanted to be in the Smooth Criminal music video. I was lucky enough to see musicals and dance companies growing up that really inspired me.

Was there anything that encouraged you to join the Matthew Bourne company?

I think I liked the idea of acting as well as dancing. I didn’t really see myself joining a classical company. I thought I’d enjoy more commercial dancing or musical theatre once I left college. I went for a Swan Lake audition as a medium swan. Once I did the first contract, I was hooked and never wanted to work anywhere else.

How do you like to spend your time away from your career?

Well, as we work quite a lot and I have a young family, I don’t have much time for other stuff. But I love watching theatre, film and television. Music has always been a huge interest of mine too.

Do you have any favourite theatre/dance shows to watch?

Loads of stuff. I like watching Kidd Pivot a lot. I saw the play Jerusalem is coming back the other day and that was up there for a long time. I usually enjoy the classic dance musicals like West Side Story or Guys and Dolls. Or more modern ones like Contact or Newsies. I’m a sucker for a Rat Pack or Sinatra show with Bob Fosse style. In the Heights and Hamilton are both incredible. I could go on and on.

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