Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is spellbinding and beautiful.
The dance show breathes life into the classic fairytale in a way we’ve never seen before.
The director and choreography has set the show against the music of Tchaikovsky and it’s a sumptuous feast for the senses.
Told entirely through dance in a mixture of styles, the show is simply stunning, and with so much going on, there’s something to keep you enthralled at every moment.
It spans more than 100 years as it tells the story of King Benedict (Glenn Graham) and Queen Eleanor (Nicola Kabera), who are so desperate for a baby that they turn to the dark fairy Carabosse (Adam Maskell) for help.
But when the fairy doesn’t feel they’ve shown their gratitude, she seeks revenge.
Thanks to Disney, this is a story we’re all familiar with, but it’s told so fluidly in this show that a base understanding isn’t important.
Choreography in the show is wonderfully inventive and original. Each performance is completely different from the next and the talented dancers didn’t put a foot wrong as they portrayed everything from royalty to servants and fairies to hikers.
The show is bold and dramatic, but it’s also very funny. Baby Aurora is portrayed by a masterfully-controlled puppet that looked extremely lifelike as it crawled across the floor, climbed up curtains, and kicked medicine away.
The puppet generated big laughs as it furiously kicked its legs when picked up by an adult and played with feathers dropped in its crib by fairies.
Cordelia Braithwaite takes on the role of Princess Aurora when she is grown and does a beautiful job. Her passionate and romantic dances with Chris Trenfield, as her love interest Leo, were gorgeous – I couldn’t look away.
The set and costumes are just as beautiful. Two travelators at the back of the stage are used to full effect as fairies fly past Aurora’s bedroom window and lighting and props are used expertly to completely transform the space in the blink of an eye.
Maskell is wonderful as the wicked fairy and as her son, Caradoc, too. He takes on the villainous roles enthusiastically.
The show is a little scary in parts but still family friendly.
It’s the perfect trip to the theatre for every little girl who has ever dreamed of being a ballerina, a fairy, a princess, or all three.
It’s absolutely magical.
Sleeping Beauty is at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, April 16. Click here to book tickets.