Ribchester choreographer wins Olivier award for work in West End

Lancashire Telegraph: Ribchester choreographer wins Olivier award for work in West End Ribchester choreographer wins Olivier award for work in West End

A CHOREOGRAPHER from East Lancashire has been recognised among the best in theatre after picking up a Laurence Olivier Award.

Leon Baugh, from Ribchester, was awarded the coveted bronze statuette for Best Choreographer at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The former Blackburn College student beat off stiff competition for his ‘stunning’ work in the Roy Williams show, Sucker Punch.

The play, directed by Leon's partner, Sacha Wares, was performed at the Royal Court Theatre last year.

Set in a run-down London boxing gym in the 1980s it follows the lives of two young boxers.

Accepting the award, Leon, who also attended Longridge High School, thanked Sacha.

“ I honestly believe that without her this show wouldn't have been nominated for all the things it has been,” he said.

The acclaimed dancer, best known for his work with the Hofesh Shechter Company, created the intricate boxing sequences for Williams’s play, which needed the theatre to be redesigned to accommodate a life-size boxing ring.

In a review, Charles Spencer from The Telegraph, wrote: “The fights themselves are thrilling. Even though no punches actually connect – the actors would surely be hospitalised if they did – the movement is so brilliantly choreographed that you still experience the visceral, guilty excitement that a good boxing match always generates.”

Leon’s introduction to theatre was aged nine when he played a rat in the Pied Piper of Hamelin with the Ribchester Amateur Theatrical Society.

He went on to study dance and performing arts at Blackburn College before training at the world renowned Laban Centre for Contemporary Dance in Deptford.

He also performed for the Queen at the re-opening of the South Bank Centre and has recently worked with Eddie Izzard helping him to prepare for the role of Long John Silver in Treasure Island for Sky TV, to be aired later this year.

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