Ashes Fever Grips Northern Ballet Theatre

August 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm (Artist's News, Interviews) (, , , , , )

You can’t have missed the fact that England is currently gripped by the excitement of the Ashes cricket tournament. The barmy army has followed its team around the country to Leeds, our home city. Headingley is just down the road from NBT’s West Park base. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them, so we’ve succumbed to Ashes fever led by dancer and cricket fan Jessica Morgan.

21 year old Jessica joined NBT in 2008 and is originally from Newcastle, Australia. Jessica is one of two Australian dancers in the Company (John Hull is the other) and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out – whether she is a cricket fan and whether the Aussie v’s English sporting banter that is prevalent all over the country at the moment exists at NBT.

Jessica Morgan

Jessica Morgan

So, prepare to be bowled over by Jessica Morgan…

Have you been following the Ashes?

I have been but not as much as in past years as I’m so busy working. I’m really excited its in Leeds, it reminds me of watching my brother play cricket when I was younger, it was always a big family thing. It’s great to see the Aussie spirit here.

Do you like cricket?

I love watching cricket, it’s my favourite sport.  I haven’t played it though, my brother used to play a lot. This is my first time in cricket pads – they’re really hard to walk in. I used to do a lot of sport in Australia, I used to swim competitively.

Do you have a favourite player in the Australian cricket team?

My favourite Aussie player is Ricky Ponting because he’s been in the team since I was young so I’ve watched him develop to his position as captain. I also like Brett Lee.

There is a lot of friendly banter between the English and Australians, does any of this exist in the Company?

Not really, I think we’re all slightly more reserved and wouldn’t come out with something so vocally as the cricket fans. I think Australians are naturally quite competitive which suits a career in dance as it is very competitive.

Are your family still in Australia?

No, they have followed me here. I moved to the UK when I was 16 to attend the Elmhurst school which was in Edgbaston in Birmingham. The school was right next door to the cricket pitch there. My brothers and sisters also came over to England so my whole family has made it their home, which is great.

Jessica Morgan

Jessica Morgan


Jessica Morgan
Jessica Morgan


What do you find is the big difference between England and Australia?

The lifestyle – most weekends in Australia we’d be at the beach. We used to live five minutes walk from the beach. Also the weather, at the end of the day we’d just dive straight in the pool. The fashion is better here, in Australia it’s a very relaxed style, jeans and thongs (flip-flops); so I enjoy shopping here.

 And of course the all-important question, who’s going to win the Ashes?

Australia of course! We’ve only lost it once in my lifetime – that was when it was played in the UK so I hope that’s not a bad omen.

 Good luck to both teams – may the best team win (as long as it’s England).

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