New Adventures: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

New Adventures: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

credit: Mikah Smilie

Accalimed choreographer rounds off Tchaikovsky triumvirate with ‘gothic romance’

Tchaikovsky’s big three are the stalwarts of the classical ballet canon. Dance companies around the world have versions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake in their repertoire, but none quite like the unique versions that have come out of the New Adventures stable.

It’s 20 years since Matthew Bourne’s first dalliance with the late Russian composer, in the shape of the gloriously sugar-coated Nutcracker! Then, in 1995, Bourne changed the face of dance forever with his highly acclaimed all-male Swan Lake.

So it’s only fitting that he should round off his Tchaikovsky triumvirate with a thoroughly new take on the fairytale classic, Sleeping Beauty. The original ballet premiered in 1890, which is exactly when Bourne has set the first part of his story. As a young woman, we see Aurora restricted by uptight Edwardian society, before waking up one hundred years later in the 21st century, and getting one hell of a shock.

Billed as a ‘gothic romance’, Bourne’s production will be more supernatural love story than Disney fairytale, which is obviously all to the good. And, wise enough to stick with what (or more specifically who) he knows, Bourne has once again brought together his dream team of designers for the project, including the award-winning Lez Brotherston on set and costumes.

If you’re still not convinced, it’s worth remembering that Matthew Bourne isn’t Britain’s most successful choreographer of all time for nothing. Expect the unexpected and to be unashamedly entertained.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 27 Nov–Sat 1 Dec

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Matthew Bourne completes his trio of Tchaikovsky-scored ballets with the story of Aurora's century-long slumber.