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A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams' white-hot masterpiece

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This astonishing take on Tennessee Williams’ famous play is narrative ballet at its very best, with stunning dance, devastating drama, pitch-perfect period design and a sizzling score used to tell the iconic story. 

Scottish Ballet’s hugely popular, award-winning production of A Streetcar Named Desire returns to London for the first time since 2015.

In steamy 1940s New Orleans, fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois moves into her sister Stella’s apartment. Stella’s brutish husband Stanley sees that Blanche is not what she appears to be, and sets out to destroy her…

Scottish Ballet’s stylish production breathes new life into the classic tale, with graceful waltzes at the DuBois family home, electrifying lindy jives in a Louisiana nightclub, and intense duets in the caged heat of Stella and Stanley’s apartment.

Directed by Nancy Meckler and choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, with set and costume designs by Nicola Turner, and score by Peter Salem (The Crucible) performed live by members of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

A Streetcar Named Desire is presented through special arrangement with the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee and is supported by Tour Partner Rathbones Investment Management.

Please note this production includes depictions of suicide, addiction, homophobia, and domestic and sexual violence. For more information, please refer to the synopsis or contact us. Recommended 15+


Tour Dates

Sadler’s Wells, London

16 – 19 May 2024

Watch the trailer


this is Scottish Ballet at its blistering, impactful best

The Herald


a punchy and very grown-up piece of entertainment that does Williams’ masterpiece full justice, repeatedly tugging at the heart-strings even as it shreds the nerves’

The Telegraph



The Stage


contemporary narrative ballet at its very best

Arts Desk


Act I

Belle Reve

Blanche marries her sweetheart, Alan, at her family home. At the wedding, Alan meets a young man and finds he is attracted to him and begins a secret affair. Blanche unexpectedly comes upon the two men together and rejects Alan. In despair, Alan runs off and shoots himself, dying in Blanche’s arms.

Stella leaves home

Blanche’s sister Stella leaves home, leaving Blanche alone with her family and their financial problems. Meanwhile, in the jazz-filled streets of New Orleans, Stella meets and falls passionately in love with Stanley Kowalski, a factory worker.

Blanche, now living in a hotel, is haunted by the trauma of Alan’s death and seeks comfort in alcohol and the arms of strangers. Eventually, she is discovered seducing a teenager and is forced to leave town.

New Orleans

Now addicted to alcohol, Blanche travels to Stella in New Orleans, hoping to leave her past behind. Blanche senses that Stanley is fiercely territorial and resents her presence in his home; he feels that Blanche looks down on him and thinks him unworthy of Stella.

The Poker Game

Stanley’s friends arrive for a poker night and the sisters go to a nightclub together where Blanche drinks heavily. She feels lightheaded and is suddenly overwhelmed by her memories of Alan. Shaken, she leaves the club and meets a woman selling flowers for graves who chants “flores para los muertos”: flowers for the dead. Blanche buys a flower and imagines again that young Alan is haunting her.

Back at the apartment, Stanley’s poker game is in full swing. Blanche meets his friend Mitch, a shy man, unconfident with women and unmarried. When Blanche invites Mitch to dance, Stanley becomes enraged at the interruption to his game and throws the radio out of the window. Stella is attacked by Stanley, who is now drunk and feeling his territory has been invaded. His friends manage to calm him while the two women run out onto the street. Stanley is full of remorse and calls out to Stella for forgiveness.

Act II

The next morning

Blanche, who has spent the night with a neighbour, returns just as Stanley is leaving. She is desperate to get Stella away from Stanley before he returns, but Stanley comes back unexpectedly. Stella sees him in the doorway and leaps into his arms. Once again feeling hopeless, Blanche turns to alcohol and escapes into her imagination.

Blanche and Mitch

Mitch takes Blanche on several dates over the course of a long, hot summer. Over the course of their courtship, Blanche refuses Mitch any intimacy beyond a goodnight kiss.

The Letter

Stanley arrives home with a letter from a friend telling him of Blanche’s promiscuous past. He shows the letter to Stella, vividly depicting Blanche’s past encounters when she was living at the hotel.

Mitch arrives after being shown the letter by Stanley, angry and feeling that he has been deceived. He tries to force himself on her before leaving in disgust.

Blanche retreats into fantasy

A delivery boy arrives. He reminds her of a young Alan, and Alan’s ghost appears again to haunt her. After Blanche’s unsuccessful attempt at seduction, the boy leaves and she is alone, haunted once more by Alan, his lover and her younger self.

Feeling that she has nowhere to turn, Blanche drinks heavily and is surrounded by characters from her past. She imagines she is the carefree star of her own life.

Stanley arrives suddenly, sharpening her wits. Blanche is terrified to be alone with him and defends herself with a bottle. She is overpowered, and Stanley rapes her.

Some days later we see Blanche, broken, being carefully dressed by Stella. Stanley has arranged for her to be committed to a psychiatric hospital. When the doctor arrives, Stella must choose whether to protect Blanche or be loyal to Stanley. Stella sides with Stanley and Blanche leaves with the doctor. Blanche retreats completely into fantasy.


Director & Scenario

Nancy Meckler

Choreographer & Scenario

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Set & Costume Design

Nicola Turner

Lighting Design

Tim Mitchell