Review, Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal, Norwich

SLEEPING BEAUTY by Bourne,            , Director and Choreographer - Matthew Bourne, Designer - Lez Brotherston, Lighting - Paule Constable, New Adventures, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson/ NNL-160127-091721001
SLEEPING BEAUTY by Bourne, , Director and Choreographer - Matthew Bourne, Designer - Lez Brotherston, Lighting - Paule Constable, New Adventures, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson/ NNL-160127-091721001
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Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal, Norwich

A visit from Matthew Bourne’s company, New Adventures, is always much anticipated by both dance lovers and a wider audience, and the arrival of this new reinterpretation is no exception. Bourne, best known for his creation of the world conquering Swan Lake with its male corps de ballet, has added a sprinkling of his very own fairydust to this well known story.

Putting it firmly in a Gothic setting with vampires as fairies, he gives added depth to the characters and adds a couple of new ones, too. Yet it remains a traditional tale of good versus evil (with the necessary happy ending) although there’s plenty of that trademark Bourne raunchiness and humour which audiences love.

Of course, the rousing Tchaikovsky score sets the agenda and it would have been the icing on the cake to have had a live orchestra. But the cost is prohibitive, unless you want your ticket price to double.

Bourne’s works are always a joint effort, with dancers bringing their own beliefs and personality to the piece. Cordelia Braithwaite is triumphant in her first lead role as the rather wild Princess Aurora while Liam Mower as her naive suitor Leo produces some of the most beautiful moments.

Special mention must go to the costumes and set by longtime collaborator, Lez Brotherston, which somehow add yet more to this dramatic piece.

Sleeping Beauty runs until Saturday. Visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Sarah Hardy