National Tour
17 Oct - 20 Jan
2 hours 40 minutes
including two intervals
Kenneth MacMillan's full-blooded ballet of love, decadence and passion.

English National Ballet is proud to tour Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece outside London for the second time only in over 30 years.

The young and naïve Manon is torn between two lives: privilege and opulence with the wealthy Monsieur GM, or innocent love with the penniless student Des Grieux. Wanting it all will be her downfall.

Aristocrats and beggars, courtesans and harlots fill the stage to take you from a gambling den in 18th-century Paris to a desolate Louisiana swamp, and share with you one of British ballet’s most dramatic stories.

Famous for its expressive choreography and acting demands, Manon features some of the most challenging roles in ballet. Let our Company sweep you up, to the haunting music of Jules Massenet performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

A lusty tale of doomed love
The Daily Telegraph
Main image: Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernandez © Jason Bell. Art Direction and Design Charlotte Wilkinson Studio.



Kenneth MacMillan


Jules Massenet


Martin Yates

Arranged and Orchestrated by

Mia Stensgaard

Designs and Costumes

Mikki Kunttu

Lighting Design


Act I
In 18th century Paris, Lescaut, Manon’s corrupt brother, is outside a seedy inn amid a scene of beggars, courtesans and wealthy aristocrats… The inn comes alive and the young Manon arrives, instantly bewitching everyone with her beauty, and she dances for them until she is scared by a rat catcher.

Outside the inn Manon meets a handsome young student, Des Grieux, and they instantly fall in love. Although Manon is promised as mistress to an old wealthy gentleman, she and Des Grieux decide to elope.

The old gentleman and another admirer, Monsieur GM, return to find Manon has escaped. Monsieur GM also wants Manon as his mistress and strikes a deal with Lescaut.

Manon and Des Grieux have fled to his apartment and as Des Grieux tries to study, Manon lovingly teases and distracts him. They express their love in passionate duet, before Des Grieux leaves the apartment.

Lescaut and Monsieur GM find Manon at the apartment. Servants bring her jewellery and a fur coat to entice her into becoming Monsieur GM’s mistress. Fuelled by greed, Manon leaves with Monsieur GM.

Des Grieux returns and Lescaut tries to convince him to allow the affair by showing him the money he has been given by Monsieur GM. Des Grieux is distraught to discover that Manon has left.


Act II
Inside Madame’s hotel of ill repute, girls dance and compete for the richest customers. Des Grieux arrives with a drunken Lescaut, looking for Manon. Manon arrives with Monsieur GM, looking beautiful in her expensive clothes. Des Grieux begs Manon to leave her life as an illegal courtesan.

She replies that life without money is worthless and convinces Des Grieux to cheat Monsieur GM at cards to win his fortune. Inexperienced and nervous, Des Grieux’s cheating is exposed but he manages to escape with Manon. Lescaut is arrested for his part in the cheating.

As the lovers prepare to escape from Paris, they quarrel over whether to leave Manon’s jewellery behind. Monsieur GM bursts into the apartment with armed policemen carrying Lescaut who has been beaten. Panic breaks out, Lescaut is shot dead and Manon is arrested.


Manon has been deported to New Orleans with other arrested prostitutes to be sold as servants. Their hair has been cut and they are dirty, thirsty and begging for mercy.

Des Grieux has followed Manon to try to support and protect her. The Gaoler, responsible for the deported women, is struck by the beauty of Manon. He tries to win Manon’s affection with a piece of jewellery. She refuses but he forces her to please him. Des Grieux breaks in and kills the Gaoler. The lovers flee.

Lost in the Louisianan swamp, Manon and Des Grieux are trapped. The heat, the taxing journey and the anxiety of running away have had a lethal effect on Manon. She is delirious; images and memories from her life appear and haunt her until eventually the strain is too much and she dies in her lover’s arms.

English National Ballet in Manon © Patrick Baldwin


“A steamy, three-act tragedy”
“A sumptuous staging”

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Only one discount per ticket. Subject to availability.

Discounts are available on all performances unless stated otherwise.

ENB Friends
20% off stalls, dress and upper circle seats, max. 6 per person. Not available on top price seats in the stalls. Become a Friend today.

Multibuy discounts
Book for two different productions at the same time and save 15%. Book for the three and save 20%. Valid for Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Manon at the London Coliseum.

Groups 10+ save 30% per tickets. Valid Mon – Fri matinee performances (i.e. excludes Fri evening – Sun performances). Call 020 7845 9300.

Up to two children (under 16) can attend half-price for every full paying adult. Children under 5 are not allowed in the auditorium.
Note this performance contains adult themes and is not suitable for young children.

Students/Senior Citizens/Westminster Rescard/Registered Unemployed
£5 off each tickets. Book in person only.

Under 30s
Two-for-1 on top-price tickets. Book in person only.

Wheelchair rate



ENB Friends
Opening night: 50% off price bands A-C until 15 May 2018, then £10 off
Thu & Fri evening: £10 off price bands A-C
Become a Friend here.

Students/Senior Citizens/Registered Unemployed/Under 26s
£10 off price bands A-C (excludes Sat evening)

Schools rate available on Wed & Thu performances. Note: Manon is not suitable for primary school children. Contact us about our Schools Link programme.

Discounts start at £5 off for Groups 10+, on price bands A-C, excluding Saturdays



Discounts valid on top three prices. Exclude Thur matinee and Sat evening.

ENB Friends
2 FOR 1 on Wed 31 Oct, 20% off prices A-D on other shows

Students/Under 26s
£5 off

Up to two children (under 16) can attend half-price for every full paying adult.
Note this performance contains adult themes and is not suitable for young children.

Discounts start at £5 off for Groups 10+.

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