Review: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping BeautySleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
You expect captivating choreography, opulent sets, a booming score – and you get lashings of all three.

But Matthew Bourne’s latest reworking of a classic is a slightly awkward adaptation. It’s not quite as uncomfortable viewing as Dorian Gray, but it’s certainly no Swan Lake either.

This new ballet has much to praise. The fairytale was an obvious choice as a starting point, but less predictable was moving it into the Victorian period to create something close to a Gothic horror.

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Nice idea, but the execution? Not so sure. Without giving too much away, there’s a peculiar union between the supernatural threads of the story and the interweaving of an altogether more extreme element.

It’s still Sleeping Beauty alright, but with extra layers of magic and, of course, Bourne’s hallmark beautiful cast making sure his productions remain sexy on multiple levels.

In terms of narrative, it may feel like a show of two parts – and it isn’t half as good as Bourne at his best. But as a whole it still makes for an epic experience worth having when the ballet comes to Bradford Alhambra.

March 26 to 30.

Sadlers Wells

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