26-30 January 2016
Reviewed by Rachael Osborne
I was very keen to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty as I had heard wonderful things about this company. I decided to take my daughter (8), and she was over the moon as this was her first trip to the ballet. We went to the Milton Keynes Theatre in Milton Keynes. There was ample pay and display parking nearby, and after 6pm parking where we were (next to John Lewis) was free. The theatre was clean, welcoming and had a wonderful ambience. We were met at the door and warmly welcomed by the staff. All the staff that we interacted with were very helpful and polite. The toilets were lovely and clean and easy to find.
The ballet began with the beginning of the story projected onto the curtain. This gave a classic fairytale feeling to it. Act One was set in 1890 and covers Aurora as a baby, and introduces us to the dark fairy Carabosse. For the baby Aurora they used a puppet that was masterfully controlled. The ‘baby’ interacted beautifully with the performers and there were several cute and amusing moments. I personally loved the Fairies dance and their use of the moving floor. The dance in this Act had a classical Ballet feel to it. Act Two was set in 1911 and the costumes reflected this. Act Two covered Aurora coming of age. The dance style was also changed to reflect the time. In this Act we met Leo who works as the Royal Gamekeeper and is Aurora’s childhood sweetheart. We also met Caradoc, the son of Carabosse, performed by the same dancer Tom Clark. The Act ended with Aurora falling asleep and Count Lilac, King of the Fairies, ensuring that Leo will live forever. Act Three was set in 2011 and began with some ‘tourists’ visiting the castle gates in modern day dress, and taking photos/selfies. This helped to bring it bang up to date. This Act involved dream sequences and focused on Aurora waking up, with a twist at the end. Act Four was set Yesterday and had a breath taking battle between good and evil.
The entire performance was beautifully choreographed with captivating performances by the entire cast. We both thoroughly enjoyed watching this wonderful ballet, and can’t wait to see other performances by this company. Very highly recommended.
Tickets cost from £18.40 to £46.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 30 January 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ