The Prospect Before Us (ballet)

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The Prospect Before Us
ChoreographerNinette de Valois
MusicWilliam Boyce, arranged by Constant Lambert
Premiere4 July 1940
Original ballet companyVic-Wells Ballet
DesignRoger Furse
TypeComic ballet

The Prospect Before Us is a one act comic ballet in seven scenes, choreographed for the Vic-Wells Ballet by Ninette de Valois to music by William Boyce arranged by Constant Lambert.


With its premiere in 1940, the first year of the war, de Valois set out to produce a light-hearted and jolly piece of escapism. Inspired by an eponymous 18th century engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, it has an intricate plot about the rivalry of two 18th century theatrical managers who fight over a troupe of dancers that includes Didelot, Noverre, and Vestris. The final scene with Robert Helpmann as Mr. O'Reilly doing a "drunk dance" is well known.[1]

Premiere cast[edit]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ "The Prospect Before Us". Ballet Magazine. June 1998. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  2. ^ Wearing, The London Stage 1940-1949, 2014, p. 33.


  • Wearing, J. P. (2014). The London Stage 1940-1949: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-0810893054

External links[edit]