Bernstein Double Bill

Trouble in Tahiti / West Side Story Symphonic Dances

16 October – 20 November 2021

Dates & venues

Dreams of a better life

American composer Leonard Bernstein was a major influence on the Broadway musical stage and this double bill brings together two of his pieces in a thrilling evening of music, dance and drama.

The curtain goes up on Sam and Dinah living a charmed life in their little white house in 1950s suburbia. But look more closely and you’ll see the cracks starting to appear in this couple’s American Dream… The satirical Trouble in Tahiti brings the sounds of jazz, musical theatre and the movies together, with a moment of full Hollywood pizzazz in Dinah’s showpiece number ‘Island Magic’.

West Side Story is a landmark of musical theatre and Bernstein’s stand-alone Symphonic Dances extracted from the show are packed with mambos, waltzes and cha-chas. Inspired by the events of his native South Africa, Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Dane Hurst creates an entirely new dance work which responds to these rhythms as dancers navigate the rough edges and walls of city life, exploring conflict and the need to connect.

The double bill will be complemented by a short, spoken word performance, Halfway and Beyond, a poetic dialogue between nature and consciousness, the concept of identity and the notion of belonging. Writer/performer Khadijah Ibrahiim.

“…offers a compelling emotional crescendo… flamingly impassioned”
★★★★ — The Times

“an emotionally powerful, lucid production… plenty of zip and pizzazz…”
★★★★ — The Arts Desk


From £15*
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Running time
Approximately 2 hours

Trouble in Tahiti is sung in English with English titles

Save with…
Season Ticket Packages
Under 30s membership
New to opera discounts

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

Symphonic Dances in association with Phoenix Dance Theatre

Read our COVID-19 guidance here


In a little white house in 1950s suburban America, Sam and Dinah are having breakfast. Aware of the growing separation between them, they agree to discuss their relationship problems that evening.

Sam arrives at the office, late from their bickering. Meanwhile, Dinah is at her therapist’s office recalling a dream.

It’s lunchtime, Sam and Dinah accidentally run into each other. Rather than eating together, they both make up imaginary commitments with others and go on with their days separately. Both parents miss their son’s play in favour of their own pursuits – Sam plays a handball tournament with a colleague, Dinah goes to the movies.

After dinner, Sam decides the time has come for their talk. Yet neither of them know where to begin. Sam suggests they go see a new movie about Tahiti, Dinah agrees even though she saw the very same film that afternoon. The couple wonders whether it’ll ever be possible to rekindle their love, for now, they opt for the magic of the silver screen.

Audio notes

These audio notes give detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances.

These are to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!

Introduction – 0:00
Trouble in Tahiti: Synopsis – 0:31
Trouble in Tahiti: Set & Costumes – 1:32
Trouble in Tahiti: Cast – 4:19
Halfway and Beyond – 4:54
West Side Story Symphonic Dances – 5:50
Further information and dates – 7:50

Cast: Trouble in Tahiti

Quirijn de Lang


Sandra Piques Eddy


Laura Kelly-McInroy


Joseph Shovelton


Nicholas Butterfield


Creative team: Trouble in Tahiti

Antony Hermus

Conductor (exc. 4, 6, 11, 13 Nov)

Martin Pickard

Conductor (4, 6, 11, 13 Nov)

Matthew Eberhardt


Charles Edwards

Set Designer

Hannah Clark

Costume Designer

Cast: Symphonic Dances

Natalie Alleston


Aaron Chaplin


Alana Cowie


Megan Lumsden


Seirian Griffiths


Charlie Nayler


Stephen Quildan


Melina Sofocleous


Yuma Sylla


Matthew Topliss


Shawn Willis


Creative team: Symphonic Dances

Antony Hermus

Conductor (exc. 4, 6, 11, 13 Nov)

Martin Pickard

Conductor (4, 6, 11, 13 Nov)

Dane Hurst


Charles Edwards

Set designer

Hannah Postlethwaite

Associate designer

Ana Inés Jabares-Pita

Costume designer

Kieron Johnson

Lighting designer

Bernstein Double Bill

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