Review: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Wales Millennium Centre

Rachel and Seren Howells visit Wales Millennium Centre to review Matthew Bourne’s reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty, a dance extravaganza presented by New Adventures Productions.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon theatre dazzled with the Matthew Bourne’s retelling of Sleeping Beauty on Tuesday evening.

The unforgettable score by Tchaikovsky takes you to a wondrous gothic world of magical fairies and vampires, where the timeless tale of good vs evil is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.

This amazing production captures our attention from beginning to end.  The performance covered the whole stage with a larger-than-life set, while amazing choreography led the narrative and had us guessing what was coming next.

The first half is mostly spent setting up the story and introducing you to all the different characters by showing you the good and the bad, while the second half flies by while watching the gamekeeper, try and find his sleeping beauty.

Having just watched the British Ice dance pair win Silver in the European Figure Skating Championship, I found some of the dances reminiscent of this, as the performers utilise the flow and movement through the air especially in the rotating lifts.

From the moment he climbs through a bedroom window, Andrew Monaghan ‘s Royal Gamekeeper, Leo’s relationship sizzles with Ashley Shaw beautiful Princess Aurora. Ben Brown commands the stage in his dual roles of Carabosse, the dark fairy and Caradoc, her son. The authority he displays through the dancing while creating chaos to Aurora’s life at birth and later in life.  Paris Fitzpatrick who plays Count Lilac the King of the Fairies has some great scenes sparring with both Carabosse and Caradoc protecting Aurora’s life.

Costume design not only charts how each era is portrayed from 1890 to the present day, but also reflects how clothes have changed.

The puppetry which was used at the beginning and end of the show was incredible. The way the puppet interacted with the cast displayed professionalism and made it seem like the puppet was a real life person on stage.

The dynamics of choreography and music, and the amazing storytelling from the dancers really brought the show to life and left us wanting more by the end of the show.

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