Sleeping Beauty review – Matthew Bourne’s show is flawed but enchanting

Sadlers Wells, London
A traditional take on the story of Aurora and the dark fairy Carabosse suffers from the lack of a believable love story, but has a suitably magical feel

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is subtitled A Gothic Romance, and from Lez Brotherston’s brooding sets to the plot’s preoccupation with issues of blood, Bourne is true to his vision. The set-up, with Princess Aurora (Ashley Shaw) cursed by the dark fairy Carabosse (Adam Maskell), is traditional. The big reveal, as the curtain goes down on Act 1, is that Count Lilac, king of the fairies (danced with splendidly farouche authority by Christopher Marney), is a vampire. Pricked by the thorn of a black rose, Princess Aurora is immured in a domain of the undead, presided over by Carabosse’s son, the suavely sinister Caradoc (Maskell). From here, Aurora’s suitor Leo (Dominic North) must rescue her if true love is to prevail.

Tchaikovsky’s score, sweeping and symphonic, declines to bend itself to Bourne’s purposes

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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