Reviewed by Linda Pickford
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth was a beautiful extravaganza of true classical ballet at its best. The music, the sets and the costumes were enchanting. It seems unbelievable that some of the costumes are almost 35 years old. The heavyweight dresses, some over a stone each, require careful handling on stage. It’s incredible that no one actually trips over. A large articulated lorry is required to transport them together with the numerous hats, headdresses and wigs.
A special mention must be made of the brilliant set design, in particular the tangled forest created around the palace was amazing.
Everyone knows the childhood story of good overwhelming evil when The Fairy Carabosse was mistakenly not invited to the christening of Princess Aurora. She sets a spell that the Princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die. However, her sister, the good Lilac Fairy, changes all by vowing that instead she will fall into a deep sleep and wake after 100 years by the kiss of a handsome Prince. True Fairy Tale Magic.
This is classical ballet with appropriate mime language. Some of last night’s capacity audience were young girls on a special evening out, beautifully dressed in their versions of a Princess Aurora costume. Unfortunately, a few had difficulty understanding the mute portrayal. The programme had some very helpful tips and also a great children’s storyline for them to brush up on the storyline.
Miki Mizutani, a soloist, danced as Princess Aurora with Cesar Morales as Prince Florimund. A good pairing although Miki Mizutani had us all worried when she slipped a couple of times. It didn’t cause any problems with the flow of the night because she carried on with no discernible hitch. Her role is a very strenuous one and requires an enormous amount of stamina to fulfil. Their Grand pas de deux was a delight.
The whole ensemble were outstanding and dancing by the fairy tale characters in the wedding scene added a light hearted end to the story. Puss-in-boots and the White Cat, danced by Feargus Campbell and Yvette Knight were a delight.
Star of the show in my opinion must go to Samara Downs as the nasty Fairy Carabosse. Her energy on stage was evil personified with her entrance on the raised sedan chair simply magnificent.
A truly captivating evening of dance from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and music executed by the wonderful Royal Ballet Sinfonia. The Plymouth Theatre Royal is renowned for bringing quality performances to the west country. Such a lovely venue within easy reach by car and public transport.
Tickets cost from £15 to £42 (booking fees may apply).
The Sleeping Beauty is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 21-24 March 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.theatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222