REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

MATTHEW BOURNE’S revival of SLEEPING BEAUTY enchants and delights this February at the WALES MILLIENIUM CENTRE.

Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY. Ashley Shaw (Aurora), Andrew Monaghan (Leo). Photo by Johann Persson.

Everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty; A young girl cursed to spend eternity asleep, or until she can be saved by a true love’s kiss. In this stunning revival, Bourne has created an adaptation that feels uniquely placed amongst many versions of this classic tale. With the inclusion of fantastic puppeteering, exciting period changes and gothic twists, the audience experienced a completely new Sleeping Beauty.

The titular character was performed by ASHLEY SHAW, as well as a very animated baby puppet.
The inclusion of the puppet was lovely surprise, especially seeing how masterful and creatively it was brought to life on stage. In a role that would usually be nothing more than a doll, the life-like baby brought an adorable presence on stage.
As Aurora grows up and grows out of her puppet phase, Ashley Shaw takes over with immense skills. Shaw had such a free and flowing style of dance that was so impressive to take in.

 Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY. Dominic North (Count Lilac) and company. Photo by Johan Persson.

Aurora’s love interest, Leo, is performed by ANDREW MONAGHAN. The Prince Charming-esque character is replaced by a charming gatekeeper who is already in an established relationship with Aurora. This removes the more unsettling idea of the princess being saved by a stranger and instead creates a more founded love story.

The production had an impressive look all around. Setting the beginning of the story around the turn of the 20th century gave it a grandiose feel that was captured in the gold accents and sweeping curtains. The set and costume design by LEZ BROTHERSTON OBE was so enriching to the story, creating an atmosphere of opulence and period extravagance, and then moving on to a world of gothic darkness while keeping the heart of the story at the centre.

Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY. Ben Brown (Caradoc), Katrina Lyndon (Aurora). Photo by Johan Persson.

MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY will run at the WMC until Saturday the 4th of February. Performances will run every evening beginning 7:30pm. Matinée performances will take place on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm. You can book tickets here.

Categories: Reviews

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply