And the shows available for you to stream just keep rolling in.
One of the only positives I can see about this whole thing right now is that people who might not usually get the opportunity to go to the theatre (too far away, too expensive) have the chance to see some of the best shows around.
So here are the next batch for your enjoyment.
We will of course get reviewing as many as we can.
I have never been a big fan of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I have always struggled to relate to Jane both when reading the book and watching film adaptations, but Dreda Blow’s intensely emotional performance completely won me over.
#Tweetingit – Matthew Bourne’s chorography and storytelling abilities never cease to amaze. This is ballet like no other you will ever see (until your next MB show!)
As we took our seats in New Wimbledon Theatre to watch a production of Sleeping Beauty I was a little concerned. I have seen Sleeping Beauty before and it makes me anxious. It is a technically demanding ballet; I have seen dancers look strained performing it, and then the second act of the ballet abandons any story line in favour of endless solos that play no part in moving the plot along; it is just not my idea of a fun night out. Continue reading “Review: 5***** Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty – New Wimbledon Theatre”→
Tonight continues the Bourne Obsession as Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty comes to New Wimbledon Theatre
I was going to write a piece on him and his incredible ballets, but I think you can get from the reviews below, how incredible I think his work is. I missed Edward Scissorhands last year so am looking forward to getting the opportunity to see more productions soon!
My only sadness going back over these reviews is the reminder of last year’s terribly sad news that Jonathan Olliver’s passed away. He was incredible and I am extremely grateful I got the opportunity and honour to see him perform. New Adventures created a show celebrating his life in dance which was performed in January this year. A trailer/snippet can be find here. http://new-adventures.net/mr-wonderful-a-celebration-of-jonathan-olliviers-life-in-dance
Get tickets! This is your last chance to see Sleeping Beauty in London!
5* A stunning, strong and intense take on a classic. Bourne doing what he does best; creating breath-taking, modern ballet for all to enjoy
Matthew Bourne made his name telling contemporary versions of the classics; his world war II take on Cinderella and a bold re-imagining of the ballet classic, Sleeping Beauty, cramming what is usually not much more than a show piece, with dynamic choreography and a clear narrative line and most famously his powerful, provocative and totally original interpretation of Swan Lake complete with an all male flock of swans, breaking the boundaries of classic style and fashioning a partnership of ballet technique with modern style Matthew Bourne’s productions are like no other ballet. Little pointe work and not a tutu in sight are the first clues to this not being your typical classical ballet. He creates something completely different, something awe inspiring.
Narratives and storytelling are Bourne’s M.O, and he never scrimps when it comes to this side of things. He is very aware of audiences, his aim is to break down the “language of dance”, create new ballets with wide appeal and win over the public. This was certainly the case with Swan Lake, there was no doubt as to what was going on and, judging by the standing ovation, the audience were definitely won over.
The story revolves around a young Prince, emotionally bereft and unsuitable for his public role, he torments himself with his failure and inability to perform his royal duties. With little support from his mother, the queen, and craving love and attention he discovers a new world to inhabit and receive the contact and acceptance he desires – almost a modern ugly duckling
For the first forty or so minutes, however, there is not a swan in sight and actually, very little which resembles ballet as you would know it. Having seen some of these dancers before and knowing their skills and grace, I was itching for them to do what they do best. But these first moments were not about just the dance; the story needed to be woven, each individual thread being placed just so to ensure that the audience were completely drawn in and captivated and entranced by the Matthew Bourne spell. During the early parts of the performance, there are also some wonderfully comedic moments – the Queen and Prince going to see a ballet with the Prince’s ditzy girlfriend. Matthew Bourne appears to mock classic ballet with its over the top movements and often non-sensical stories.
Finally swans appear. Swan Lake swans usually conjures and image of beautiful graceful women in tutus gliding and twirling across the stage with elegance. Bourne creates a different and actually more realistic version, created by strong, muscular and, for most of the performance, extremely sweaty, men. When the prince approaches the swans, it seems almost like they are a fraternity with an initiation ceremony to fulfil. He won’t be accepted without a fight. They breathe together, they move in unison, almost performing a martial arts kata. They twitch their heads and arch their necks, it is powerful, strong and quite aggressive. The movements capture the real life version of these beautiful but potentially vicious animals.
There is not a dancer on stage who can be criticised but a couple of the ensemble stood out; from the men, Luke Jackson was a powerful presence on stage while Katrina Lyndon from the female ensemble was sultry in her princess roles.
And then there are the two leads whose stunning movement makes you hold your breath and feel everything they feel. Liam Mower’s Prince is clearly suffering emotional torment, battling with his feelings desires and inner thoughts. His movements tug at the audience’s emotions while Jonathon Ollivier’s commands the stage in his role as the formidable and passionate Swan. When the Prince and the Swan dance together, it is mesmerising and beautiful making you hold your breath and feel everything they feel. Matthew Bourne has stated that this is often seen as homoerotic but that surely it is actually just erotic? I didn’t even view it like that; these dances, sex unimportant, moved together beautifully, in harmony with real feeling, telling a beautiful story.
The finale is a climatic extravaganza. The vicious and menacing swans take no prisoners as their jealousy of the Prince becoming the favoured one of their alpha male gets too much and they brutally attack him in his bed. The lighting and set add some incredible extra atmosphere during these moments too.This truly chilling, magnificent and ferocious performance is not to be missed. It doesn’t feel like your “typical” ballet – it is certainly something quite wonderful and over 20 years since it first appeared at Sadler’s Wells it is still as astonishing as it ever has been. Ballet fan or not, I implore you to go to see any of this truly magnificent choreographer’s work.
Matthew Bourne returns to The Marlowe Theatre this September with Lord Of The Flies, featuring eight professional New Adventures dancers as well as 25 local boys in a brand new production of William Golding’s classic novel. For full details, go to marlowetheatre.com.
Beyond the Blurb: Want to see where I sat and where to eat and drink before the show?