Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of Sleeping Beauty is mesmerising to watch, rich in detail and stunningly precise performances that capture the imagination. 

SLEEPING BEAUTY - Dominic North as 'Leo' and Ashley Shaw as 'Aurora'  Photo credit Hugo Glendinning  Newsprint

This brand new interpretation burst on to the scene several years ago and is still as refreshing as ever to watch.

Director and choreographer Matthew Bourne has effortlessly combined traditional ballet with a more contemporary feel that results in a production that is filled with surprises and some stunning performances.

In the title role of Princess Aurora, Ashley Shaw has a charming youthful quality that reveals itself in every movement – in particular during Aurora’s coming of age party, that looks perfectly natural and in perfect keeping with the style of the show.

Meanwhile, Chris Trenfield as Leo does exactly as required as the hero of the hour and it is only a shame that the audience doesn’t get to see him as much in the first half of the show. He is light and elegant on his feet, playful in character and the perfect choice opposite Ashley Shaw.

Adam Maskell as Caraboss and Caradoc adds a strong and commanding presence as both characters, although it does take a few scenes before the audience is perhaps fully aware of how sinister both his characters are.

It is clear that this production has taken inspiration from a wide variety of interpretations of the fairytale, yet Bourne has managed to combine them together to create something new and with a lot more detail than the original fairytale seems to contain.

As well as the fantastic choreography that helps the show flow along with ease, complementing the music perfectly, the sets and costumes really help to capture the spirit of the production: glamorous but with a hint of dark undertones that in turn thrills and is awe inspiring.

This is production that hits near perfection with only the minor complaint being that the opening section involving the baby Aurora feels a bit repetitive and overly long – despite adding that sense of comedy that helps settle the audience and start the story on a playful note.

However that is only a small minor detail in what is a joyous and fantastically thought out production that will continue to delight audiences for a long time to come.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is on at the New Victoria Theatre Woking until Saturday 6th February.  To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets and Ticketmaster.co.uk . 

 

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