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Mark Morris’s Pepperland on tour

Posted on July 26, 2018

Pepperland Liverpool 2017 Robbie Jack 6811

In 2019, Mark Morris Dance Group will tour the UK with Pepperland, a work inspired by The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Co-commissioned by Dance Consortium, Pepperland had its world premiere in Liverpool in 2017 as part of the city’s Sgt. Pepper at 50 festival. Ethan Iverson’s new score rearranges some of the album’s best-known hits, including the title track, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, “A Day in the Life”, “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “Penny Lane”. His unpredictable arrangements, for instruments including the soprano saxophone and the theremin, will be performed live by the MMDG Music ensemble.

Morris said: “The music for Pepperland, arranged and extrapolating from tracks on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, is important to me because of the enormous impact the album caused in popular culture at large. Beatlemania in the UK and particularly in the US was a pivotal event in the turbulent social/political semi-revolution of the late 1960s. As a very young person, I was dazzled and confused by the music. I loved it, and I loved The Beatles. Then, over the years, I lost touch and lost interest partly because of overexposure. When I was approached to participate in the commemorative project in Liverpool, I re-examined the recording and found so much of interest in it that I eagerly took on the big project of turning these very familiar songs into an evening-length music and dance show.”

The tour will open at London’s Sadler’s Wells on March 20 to 23, 2019, before visiting Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry, Salford, Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre, Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre,  Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre, Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre, the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, The Mayflower, Southampton, the Theatre Royals of Norwich and Newcastle, with other dates to be announced. Tickets are already on sale at some venues. Visit for details.


Picture: Mark Morris Dance Group in Pepperland. Photograph: Robbie Jack

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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