Tony Iommi attends Birmingham launch event for Black Sabbath – The Ballet

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Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was joined by the artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet for the launch event of a new show inspired by the pioneering heavy rock band.

Rehearsals for Black Sabbath – The Ballet were under way on Thursday ahead of the show’s opening in September.

It will run at the Birmingham Hippodrome from September 23 to 30, with further dates in the autumn in Plymouth and London to be announced.

Black Sabbath – The Ballet
The cast in rehearsal (Jacob King/PA)

The show has been described by Acosta as the “next best thing” for fans of the heavy metal band after frontman Ozzy Osbourne recently stepped back from touring because of poor health.

Black Sabbath – The Ballet will merge the world of dance with classic songs by the Birmingham-based rockers, alongside new and archive material from the group.

Black Sabbath – The Ballet
The show is due to open in September (Jacob King/PA)

The production is hoping the band will be involved in some capacity with the show, including recordings of members describing their time in Black Sabbath.

Eight of their classic tracks – including Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – have been re-orchestrated for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra.

Black Sabbath – The Ballet
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi (Jacob King/PA)

Black Sabbath formed in 1969 with lead singer Osbourne, guitarist Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.

Iommi previously said he had “never imagined” pairing Black Sabbath with ballet, but the show had “a nice ring to it”.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops. Black Sabbath have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this,” he said.

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