Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

by | Apr 9, 2023 | Dance, Featured, Reviews

A beautiful modern ballet danced to perfection, with a lavish set and wonderful costumes, however this is Sleeping Beauty as you might not have seen it before, especially if like most of us, you are over familiar with the Walt Disney animation.

The first half depicts the classic fairy tale story of the King & Queen who want a baby so bad they strike a deal with the evil fairy (Carabosse). Princess Aurora is born and they live a wonderful life in the palace. Princess Aurora has many suitors, yet she only has eyes for the gamekeeper, Leo, where they keep their meetings secret.

This first half we see Aurora as a baby, this is a realistic puppet which causes much humour as she crawls around the palace causing havoc for the staff, who dearly love her. The good fairies also come to play but they witness Carabosse lay a curse on the baby, so the King of the Fairies kills Carabosse. There are lovely happy scenes of a wonderful life as Princess Aurora grows up: the gatherings and parties in the grounds, and the light hearted secret love affair with Leo.

Caradoc, the son Carabosse, wants revenge, he bides his time and becomes obsessed with Aurora, he gives her a black rose on which she pricks her finger and sends her to sleep for one hundred years.

The timing of the first half is in the Edwardian era, the costumes are gloriously representative of this time and the set is lavish showing the inside of the palace and the grounds.

Just before the interval, we see a distraught Leo, who believes he has lost his love. He fights with Caradoc and Caradoc bites him.

The second half is set after one hundred years have passed and it’s our modern day. This is shown with the clothing and a few modern twists. This is where the story takes a dark turn towards the more supernatural with the dark fairies and vampires. Leo has to infiltrate the lair of the dark fairies and stop Caradoc from sacrificing Princess Aurora. There is a happy ending.

This gothic dark romance takes you on a different journey yet still engages the audience. However if the story is not what you are expecting the incredible dancing blows you away regardless. The dancers are so elegant, strong, enchanting, warm and magical – you were unable to take your eyes off them and you didn’t want to miss a thing.

The group performances were stunning and the solo work was outstanding, the emotions of the story came through so well with the dancing – it was enthralling to watch.

Listings at Norwich Theatre

Matthew Bourne


  • Hayley Clapperton

    Hayley is a business co-owner working too many hours so it's a good job she's passionate about it. Hayley's down time is music, music and music of all types and she enjoys going to gigs, listening to new bands and breathing in the energy it creates.

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