The Royal Ballet to Celebrate Wayne Sleep's 75th Birthday at the Royal Opera House

The evening will feature a performance by the ‘pocket Apollo’ himself, and a lineup of guests that includes Dame Felicity Lott, and more.

By: Jun. 06, 2023
The Royal Ballet to Celebrate Wayne Sleep's 75th Birthday at the Royal Opera House

This July, the Royal Opera House will host a unique event celebrating the 75th birthday of former Royal Ballet Principal dancer, and celebrity of stage and screen, Wayne Sleep. With a performance by the ‘pocket Apollo’ himself, and a lineup of guests that includes Dame Felicity Lott, this afternoon of entertainment is not to be missed.  

Distinctively diminutive in stature and larger than life in personality, Sleep rose quickly through the ranks at The Royal Ballet, winning the hearts of the nation with his brilliant technique and charismatic presence. Over five decades, he brought the exhilarating and transformative power of dance to audiences across the globe, showcasing his virtuoso skills as a performer, director, choreographer and philanthropist.  

At the Company, many roles were created for him by noted choreographers Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, Ninette de Valois, Rudolf Nureyev, Gillian Lynne and John Neumeier. These included George Robertson Sinclair in Enigma Variations, Kolia in A Month in the Country, the leading revolutionary in Anastasia, the Beggar Chief in Manon and a part in Elite Syncopations.  Among his theatrical accolades, he created the role of Mister Mistoffelees in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats and performed the Emcee in Gillian Lynne's West End production of Cabaret. His dance show Dash was the first company to combine all four dance disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary under the same roof in one performance. On television and through his Wayne Sleep Foundation, he has continuously championed dance for all. 

The 75th birthday celebration will reflect on the many highlights of his remarkable career, and is a co-production between The Royal Ballet, Janie Dee and the Wayne Sleep Foundation. 


Linbury Theatre 
17 July 2023 
A co-production between The Royal Ballet, Janie Dee and the Wayne Sleep Foundation. 

Tickets: £5 - £45  
For more information, and to book, visit: Click Here  

About The Royal Ballet  

Under the directorship of Kevin O’Hare, The Royal Ballet unites tradition and innovation in world-class performances and is a driving force in the development of ballet as an art form. Based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, it brings together today’s most dynamic and versatile dancers with a world-class orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, conductors, directors and creative teams to share awe-inspiring theatrical experiences with diverse audiences worldwide. The Company’s extensive repertory embraces 19th-century classics, the singular legacy of works by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, a compelling new canon of work by choreographers today including Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, and the bold and complementary programming in the Linbury Theatre. Guest choreographers Kyle Abraham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Cathy Marston, Arthur Pita, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Pam Tanowitz and Twyla Tharp have also created work for the Company. 

About the Royal Opera House 

Home to The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Opera House brings together world-class performers and trailblazing creative teams to share unforgettable performances with audiences near and far. Our theatres are in the heart of London's Covent Garden, but our work is accessed and experienced across the UK and globally through ROH Stream, tours, cinema programme, radio broadcasts and TV output. Our work in schools and communities up and down the country is driven by our curriculum linked Create & Learn programmes, specially designed to inspire creativity, broaden participation and diversify the future of opera and ballet. These sit alongside industry-leading talent development projects, regional partnerships, and a raft of daytime events, family activities, tours, exhibitions and free concerts here in our iconic Covent Garden home. We are also expanding our audience through our flagship Young ROH scheme and are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2035.


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