Further details have been released about the forthcoming ballet featuring music by pop duo Pet Shop Boys, which was first announced last year (See News, 23 Feb 2009).

Entitled The Most Incredible Thing, it will be directed and choreographed by Javier de Frutos and premiere at Sadler's Wells from 22 to 26 March 2011 (following a week of previews).

The full-length ballet is adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s 1870 story of the same name, which tells the story of a contest to find 'the most incredible thing' in order to win the hand of a princess.

According to press material, “with its resonant narrative adapted by Matthew Dunster and Pet Shop Boys, design by Katrina Lindsay, and film and animation by BAFTA winner Tal Rosner, this new production is designed on a large scale, featuring a cast of 15, a 26-piece orchestra, and a message of hope that lies at the heart of Andersen’s tale.”

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 year they were recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Brit Awards. 

The duo were introduced to Sadler’s Wells over four years ago by Royal Ballet principal Ivan Putrov, who asked them to write a ballet score for him. Putrov, who has been involved in workshops for the piece and will lead the company, said today that he is "very much looking forward to the new creation".

Pet Shop Boys commented: “This is a very exciting project to be part of. In the past we have written music for the club dancefloor so to write music for the ballet stage seems like a logical development. Also we have always been fascinated by giving our music a theatrical context.”

Javier de Frutos, whose previous credits include Rufus Norris' award-winning 2006 revival of Cabaret added: “The opportunity to stage Hans Christian Andersen with music by Pet Shop Boys - alongside some of my beloved long-term collaborators - is an irresistible cocktail.”