OH, TO BE IN ENGLAND: Riffs and tutus: Black Sabbath ballet to be staged in Birmingham.

A ballet soundtracked by the music of Black Sabbath will premiere in September, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director Carlos Acosta has announced.

Billed as “the world’s first heavy metal dance experience”, the three-act ballet will feature eight songs by the Brummie band, including Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs and the eponymous Black Sabbath, re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia – with added drums and electric guitars. The rest of the score will be newly composed, inspired by the band’s music.

Ever since Cuban ballet star Acosta joined Birmingham Royal Ballet as artistic director in 2020, his aim has been for the company to reflect its home city, both in the diversity of its dancers, and the subject matter of its ballets. They previously staged City of a Thousand Trades, about the city’s history of immigration and industry.

“Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous, and infamous, cultural entity to ever emerge from the city,” said Acosta, “so I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners.”

Spinal Tap, call your office! The parody of this, with all of the backstage antics, would be a hoot to watch.