On Stage: Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, Wales Millennium Centre

Matthew Bourne’s new production, an adaptation of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s iconic film and the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Red Shoes has arrived in Cardiff. A tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world – Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.

The evening proved to be an intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences.  Throughout the production you’ll find yourself captivated watching performances on stage as well as being taken backstage to see what goes on behind the curtain.  From the opening you see the use of the set is dramatic, seamlessly moving between different areas of the theatre on stage.  

The whole cast played their roles excellently with the facial expressions and choreography allowing the story to be told.  There were several times the simple use of gestures brought laughter or told a more sinister feeling.

The music, a new score arranged by Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann (most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles), if perfect in every scene and conveys much of story as the perfomers as do on stage.

A show not to be missed.  The Red Shoes is at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff until March 18.

Rachel Howells