Sunday, 17 November 2013


I went to the Lowry in Manchester to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for the fifth time this weekend and it was once again an extraordinary experience!

This thrilling and totally original production transforms one of ballet's best-loved stories into a stylish, witty and contemporary tale with extravagant, award-winning designs by Lez Brotherston. The production is best-known for the fact that the traditional female corps de ballet has been replaced with a strong, menacing male ensemble. Matthew Bourne blends dance, comedy, spectacle and mime to create a provocative and incredibly powerful Swan Lake for our times. I think the thing that makes this such an incredible experience is Tchaikovsky's brilliant score, although it was disappointing that they have decided that it is too expensive to have a live orchestra. The choreography was different from when I last saw the ballet in 2010, but as always he cast was really good and the relationship between the prince and the swan worked incredibly well: Simon Williams was great as the disturbed and disturbing Prince and Jonathan Ollivier, with his experience and classical training, gave a wonderful performance as the Swan.

The production is at Sadler's Wells from 4 December until 26 January and then tours in the Spring at the Theatre Royal in Norwich, the Milton Keynes Theatre, the Birmingham Hippodrome, the King's Theatre in Glasgow, the Alhambra in Bradford, the Theatre Royal in Nottingham,  the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and the Bristol Hippodrome. 

I will be going again wherever I can to catch this simply wonderful performance. Make sure you see it as well if you can or you will miss out on one of the experiences of a lifetime.

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