Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD

Mayerling Poster


Closed May 13, 2017

Relive the drama and darkness of MacMillan's masterpiece

Why See Mayerling?

Kenneth MacMillan's shocking masterpiece

Sex, murder and suicide. A fairytale ballet this is not, in Kenneth MacMillan's raunchy historically based tragedy. Regarded by many as the choreographer's greatest masterpiece, this dark and disturbing work pushes the boundaries of classical ballet, delving deep into the psyche of a sexually tortured prince, considered to be one of the physically demanding in the dance medium. When the unstable Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary is forced into marriage, he is introduced to a teenage mistress by his former lover; however, this young woman has a disturbing obsession of her own - death.

First premiering in 1978, MacMillan's production garnered rave reviews and a standing ovation at its first performance despite the disturbing subject matter. With the action swinging between the huge splendour of a royal wedding, to the intimate surrounds of a hunting lodge, the finely tuned choreography is explosive and passionate in parts, most notably when the prince dances a pas de deux with various women; his mother, his rejected wife and his young mistress. The action culminates in a shocking end, with a scandalised royal family feverishly trying to save face.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 28 April 2017


Suitable for ages 14 due to mature themes

Run time

Three hours including two intervals

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