Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty returns to MK Theatre

If you’re of the mind that ballet is not for you, now’s the time to think again.
If you’ve never quite ‘got’ classical music, try this for size.
If you don’t see the point of retelling a fairy tale, just let’s stop you in your tracks right now!

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

Photo: Johan Persson

Matthew Bourne does ballet differently. Tutus are in short supply, plot and character are as important as entrechats and pirouettes and, in collaboration with his long-standing designer Lez Brotherston, the productions are stunning to look at.
This revival of Sleeping Beauty, last seen at Milton Keynes Theatre three years ago, has won the hearts of thousands – many of them people who never imagined that they would enjoy ballet – and smashed box office records across the UK and the USA since its premiere.

The story is familiar; a royal couple asks for help to conceive a child from Carabosse, the Dark Fairy. Bad move. When their little girl is born, gratitude is in short supply, so Carabosse gets her own back – big time. She casts a spell that hangs like a dark cloud over the Princess Aurora. Come the big bash on her 21st birthday, Aurora gets a short, sharp shock. But thank goodness for the intervention of a good fairy who at least can employ some damage limitation techniques.
Tchaikovsky’s score is an extraordinary mix of glorious sweeping waltz tunes and something that sounds curiously like contemporary techno Garage, reflecting the 100 year leap in time that Aurora experiences; from the halcyon days of the late Edwardian era to right bang up to date.

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

Photo: Johan Persson

With the help of sumptuous sets and costumes, evocative lighting, masterly storytelling and an ensemble cast who are all stars in their own right, Matthew Bourne creates a truly magical experience whether it’s your first or forty-first time at the ballet.

Sleeping Beauty is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 26 – 30th January

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

What did we think?

Malcolm Singer has written his review of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty (click on Theatre Reviews), but I was there at the opening night at the MIlton Keynes Theatre last night, and all I can say is Matthew Bourne has done it again!

His latest is yet another perfect ballet, beautifully directed, with stunning costumes and sets. This is a new concept of the classic story, it is a beautiful, if fairly dark, story of a romance between a princess and the Royal gamekeeper. Matthew’s choreography is, as you might expect, modern and kept the packed house gripped from the first few bars of music, and that packed house was on its feet cheering and applauding for more curtain calls than I managed to count at the end.

There is puppetry involved, but I shan’t say anymore about it because it is the most wonderful surprise – such skill!

If you don’t really think you’d enjoy ballet, or you consider it to be a bit too pink and girlie, go and see this and you’ll be hooked forever!

It’s virtually sold out for the whole week, but if you know anyone that has managed to get a ticket, all I can advise is that you bribe them with five times the face value, it’ll be worth it!

Please see Malcolm Singer’s review of the show, he’s the expert. I’m just a member of the public, but I loved every second!

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at the Milton Keynes Theatre runs until 30th January

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

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