Sadler's Wells have confirmed that pop duo the Pet Shop Boys (pictured) are working on an electronic-influenced ballet, which will make its debut at the Islington venue in 2011. The new work will be choreographed by Olivier Award-winner Javier de Frutos and directed by Young Vic associate Matthew Dunster.

Pet Shop Boys - who comprise singer Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe - are the most successful pop duo in British chart history, having sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Last week they were recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Brit Awards. 

Announcing the ballet last week on BBC Radio 2, Tennant described it as a “very exciting project”, adding that it's "based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen" and has a score featuring “electronics and strings”.

Speaking to Whatsonstage.com today, Sadler's Wells CEO and artistic director Alistair Spalding said: “I’m happy to confirm that we’re working on an exciting new Sadler’s Wells production with the Pet Shop Boys. We’ve already undertaken one workshop and there will be further research and development work this year. Javier de Frutos is working on the choreography and Matthew Dunster is working on the scenario. We plan to present it at Sadler’s Wells in 2011.”

De Frutos' recent choreography work includes Rufus Norris' West End revival of Cabaret in 2006, for which he won an Olivier Award. He is currently working on Norris' new production for the National Theatre, Death and the King's Horseman, which opens in April.

Matthew Dunster's recent directing credits include Che Walker's The Frontline, which revisits the Globe later this year (See News, 12 Feb 2009). He's an associate at the Young Vic, where last year he directed You Can See the Hills and in 2007 helmed The Member of the Wedding.

It's not the first time the Pet Shop Boys have been involved in a theatrical project – they wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Closer to Heaven, which ran at the Arts Theatre in 2001 (See News, 16 Mar 2001).

- by Theo Bosanquet