Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at The Lowry

It’s a good job the theatre recently became my new neighbour when I moved to Salford Quays in the summer, as I’ve rarely been away from the place recently.

Back Wednesday night and I’ll be honest, I would kill for a 100 year nap right now. No sympathy here, my love.

So the Christmas trees are up in the foyer and it was time for a fairytale and a bit of enchantment to take me away from grey skies, dark mornings and derailed trams causing havoc to my commute.

I’ve had a real treat of late – after quite the interval from both, I’ve been privileged to enjoy the opera and, on Wednesday, the ballet, over the last month..

Enter a wondrous 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. Will Princess Aurora ever find her true love again?

The story starts in 1890, meaning that with some growing up time, the (spoiler) ‘awakening’ was scheduled for the 2010s. Now this all set the scene for a hybrid of the traditional and contemporary in terms of costume and reference.

I have no problem with this (how perfectly generous of me). There is room for reimaginings as it keeps a classic text alive, refreshed and on the radar. Otherwise we can risk losing tales (and indeed musical scores – don’t worry, fellow fans, Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score is there from start to finish) to the annals of literary history.

To be perfectly honest, beyond the footwear, no period for me particularly took centre stage, and the thread of fairytale and fantasy still ruled.

Indeed, I admit to becoming a little confused in the later scenes as to who, one hundred years on, was asleep, awake, dead or alive, and what those beautiful little wings on some signified.

That’s on me and didn’t impede my enjoyment of the beautifully choreographed dancers as they shared the stage with enchanting set builds and sounds of the pre-recorded score (hands up, I do yearn for the live orchestra -particularly when spoiled with one earlier in the month in the same theatre – ‘keep music live’ and all that).

I cried like a baby (oh quick mention of the marvellous puppetry of a young Princess Aurora and later – spoiler – child of her own) at the end. Hormonal or simply carried away on a tide of emotion inspired by theatrical artistry – you decide!

Credit: Johan Persson

And you can do that by catching the final performance of Sleeping Beauty, a gothic romance, at The Lowry Theatre this evening, Saturday 26th November.

Click here for details and tickets.

Sweet dreams.

New Adventures dance company – full wonderful cast with blogs here.

“SLEEPING BEAUTY” is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne working with his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists, Lez Brotherston (Set and Costumes), Paule Constable (Lighting) and Paul Groothuis (Sound Design).

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