Rejoice! Birmingham Royal Ballet announces Black Sabbath - The Ballet

A ballet dancer performing with a Gibson SG guitar
(Image credit: Perou)

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced plans to stage a ballet based on the music of Black Sabbath. Rehearsals for Black Sabbath - The Ballet will begin in April, before a five-date run of performances kicks off at the Birmingham Hippodrome on September 23. Further bookings are due to be announced at Plymouth's Theatre Royal and at Sadler’s Wells in London. 

The ballet was commissioned by the company's director Carlos Acosta, whose previous work with the Ballet includes City of a Thousand Trades, a 2021 ballet based on Birmingham's industrial and multicultural heritage. 

"I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops!," says Sabbath legend Tony Iommi. "Black Sabbath have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this! I’d never imagined pairing Black Sabbath with Ballet but it’s got a nice ring to it! 

"I’ve met with Carlos several times and his enthusiasm is infectious. I performed alongside some of the dancers at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and they had an incredible energy, so I’m happy to go along  for the ride with them and see you on the other side!" 

"Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city," says Acosta. "So I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners. The band’s enthusiasm for the project is a huge endorsement. 

"They are putting their trust in us to deliver something completely new and original, and that’s quite a responsibility but one that we are beyond excited to take on. Everyone in the BRB company is thrilled to be involved and we cannot wait to share the vision for the show in more detail in the coming months. I have hand picked the creative team and will work closely with them to make a spectacular show."

Eight Sabbath songs will feature in the ballet. Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs Black Sabbath, Solitude, Laguna Sunrise and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath will all be arranged for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and the performance will also include new compositions inspired by the music of Black Sabbath. The orchestra will be joined onstage by live guitar and drums. 

Black Sabbath - The Ballet will be staged at the Birmingham Hippodrome from September 23 to September 30. For tickets, check the Birmingham Royal Ballet website

Carlos Acosta and Tony Iommi on Black Sabbath Bridge, Birmingham

Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta with Tony Iommi on Black Sabbath Bridge, Birmingham (Image credit: Drew Tommons)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.