Scottish Ballet's Christopher Hampson on Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling

Scotish Ballet's Christopher Hampson on Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling

The production is Bourne's adaptation of La Sylphide

It’s always a good idea to turn up at a job interview well prepared. But when Christopher Hampson arrived at Scottish Ballet, to convince the company he should be its new artistic director, he took preparation to a whole new level. ‘I looked at Scottish Ballet’s repertoire, and thought it would be right to have a production of La Sylphide,’ he recalls. Rather than opt for a traditional version, however, he thought of Matthew Bourne’s modern-day re-working, Highland Fling. Only trouble is, Bourne had never let anyone, other than his own New Adventures company, perform one of his full-length works before. ‘I wanted to be sure I was presenting myself at the interview with everything intact,’ says Hampson, ‘so I spoke to Matthew and said I know the answer’s probably no, but if I get the job at Scottish Ballet, would you consider letting the company perform Highland Fling? And he took a moment, then said “yes”. I was thrilled.’

Happily, Hampson got the job – and Highland Fling now has a place in Scottish Ballet’s repertoire. Bourne’s engaging work starts in the toilet of a Glasgow night club, before moving into an ethereal world filled with nymphs. Filled with the choreographer’s trademark wit, strong characterisation and emotional heart, Highland Fling is a coup for any company.

‘I think it’s a real responsibility,’ says Hampson, ‘both for me and Scottish Ballet – but it’s a really wonderful one.’

Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Sat 27 Apr–Sat 4 May; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 22–Sat 25 May.

Scottish Ballet: New! Highland Fling Trailer

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling

Matthew Bourne's ballet inspired by La Sylphide, first performed in 1994, returns for a new Scottish tour. We follow the misfortunes of James, a young Scotsman whose taste for the wilder side of life brings him into the company of a strange and beautiful gothic fairy.

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling Ballet Cafe

A ballet class for adults, based on the Scottish Ballet's current show. After learning a few new dance moves, grab a refreshment and listen to some behind-the-scenes chat.

Scottish Ballet: Highland Fling Insight Event

Learn more about the company from one its dancers and more about the choreography, music and design of the ballet through an illustrated talk. Then watch the pros take a class on stage.