Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Review on Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty in Birmingham Hippodrome 

About this event

Starts: Friday 3 March 2023 9:00 AM

Ends: Friday 3 March 2023 5:00 PM

On Wednesday 8th of February, I had the pleasure of watching Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty in the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre. The story follows Princess Arora’s life with a magical twist as it   includes battles with vampires and other evil creatures. Bourne is the director and the choreographer of the show. Sir Matthew Bourne OBE is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. Bourne has created an unconvincing love between Aurora and her Prince, Bourne's Sleeping Beauty introduces Calaboose's faithful son Caradoc to sidestep the issue, while Aurora (played beautifully by the show-stealing Ashley Shaw) falls for her Leo, the royal gamekeeper (played by Andrew Monaghan, who oozes charm and warmth at every turn) just as her fate is sealed with the prick of a finger and a century-long sleep. My favourite specific part of the dances were the precise and sharp movements which the dancers made. I personally thought this made the show more aesthetically pleasing for an audience member. Before watching the play, I had multiple expectations one of them was pure ballet technique included in the performance. This is because Mathew Bourne was influenced by the ballet style Tchaikovsky. Personally, I had never seen one of Mathew Bournes' works before so I was unsure about what type of twist, he would bring to a classical fairy tale. Therefore, the introduction of vampires was confusing at first. However, I began to understand the moral of the story which is good over all evil. Not only did I like the technique of the dancers, but I loved the creativeness of the baby princess Arora puppet. I was thoroughly impressed by the actor and dancer Ashley Shaw who gave an excellent performance. She brought out the innocence and fragility of the character which made the audience hooked onto the story line. One thing that I was unsure about was the lack of clarity in the story line. Personally, I had found it a bit difficult to follow the story, there were some moments which did not make sense to me, and I was unsure of some characters at some points of the show. Overall, I loved the performance due to the technique of the dancers, the glamorous costumes, and the creative set design. I would recommend this performance to dance enthusiasts. The most important thing I will take away from experience is that timing and precise movements of the body makes any dance performance a hundred times better than a dance with less precise movements.  

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Mitali Prasad

Mitali Prasad

Doing Gold Arts Award

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  • Louisa Kerton

    On 9 March 2023, 13:00 Louisa Kerton commented:

    Hello Mitali, I really enjoyed reading your review and really love the story of Sleeping Beauty, it was my favourite story as a child. I'm really curious to know who you're favourite character or actor was and why.

  • Mitali Prasad

    On 24 May 2023, 16:53 Mitali Prasad commented:

    Hi Louisa,My favourite character was probably princess Arora played by Ashley Shaw I loved her ballet technique and how she made the dance moves look so flawless and effortless.

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