After admitting no interest in ballet, Neil Francis to review Swan Lake

Neil Francis is set to review a world-renowned performance of Swan Lake, days after saying he had no interest in ballet - much like the majority of gay people had no interest in sport.

Francis and Ballet Ireland education officer Stephen Brennan will review Matthew Bourne’s adaption of the classic for Derek Mooney’s Radio 1 show, when it opens in Dublin next week.

Asked if he had seen a ballet before, Francis answered:

“I watch it on television obviously, I just haven’t seen it live.

“This particular Matthew Bourne production seems to be fairly innovative and radically different to anything that I would have seen on television.”

The show which will run at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is a dramatic rethinking of Swan Lake and is based on a romance between two male characters, unlike the original.

“What’s most famous about Swan Lake is you’ve got rows and rows of Swan Maidens dancing in unison in a self-effacing delicate manner, it’s gentle; it’s feminine; it’s floating on the surface. Matthew Bourne’s turned it on it’s head and he has a male [cast] of swans,” said Brennan.

The former Irish international admitted that when approached by Mooney’s production team he referred to it as his penance — an apparent reference to his controversial comments on homosexuals and sport on Sunday.

Francis has since apologised “profusely and unreservedly” for the comments.


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