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Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty was a night of magic and theatrical excellence. From the choreography, to the set, to the music, this production will have you entranced the entire time, and will make you wish you never quit ballet classes when you were ten.

Firstly, the choreography and the talent were second to none. The dancers moved so beautifully and graceful. They managed to make something which is extremely difficult look so easy and effortless, and made you want to get up on stage and join them.

Ashley Shaw as Princess Aurora was a particular standout. Shaw glided across the stage with such ease and elegance, she really was the cherry on top of the giant cake that is this production. Even when the stage was full of dancers your eyes constantly gravitated towards her, she commanded your attention with her exceptional talent.

Not only did Shaw seem weightless on the stage floor, but at one point she actually was. She was suddenly lifted up into the air and flew above the stage, dancing gently as she went. An incredibly magical and stunning moment which will definitely be hard to forget.

Another actor who particularly stood out was Dominic North, cast as Count Lilac. Originally playing Leo in previous showings of the production, Mr North expressed his excitement at performing at a new role.

He said: “Its nice to do something different, it’s rare to do something different. It’s a new challenge and a new way of acting and dancing.

“Its a skill being away from home and travelling with shows. It can be rewarding and not many people get the chance to do that.

He also shared how he feels before performing at The Lowry.

He followed: “I feel good about performing at The Lowry, its a great theatre and I must have performed there 15 times. Its always a good, busy week. It’s great to be back. We always go before London so we get used to playing to a big audience, a big house.

“Its a good show, it ticks all the boxes. It’s got comedy, and it’s a fairytale romance. It’s a good night out.”

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The music was scored by the legendary Tchaikovsky, so as you can imagine it was flawless. The way the dancers moved in perfect synchronisation with Tchaikovsky’s classic symphonies was mesmerising. The instantly recognisable “Once Upon a Dream” was used in one instance, which was a lovely nostalgic nod to the original 1959 film.

This production was staged absolutely beautifully. Like Bridgerton meets Buckingham Palace. It was regal and stunning with its use of mirrors and intricate gold detailing. There were several set changes, from a bedroom, to a garden, to a forest, and each one of them were equally as awe-inspiring. At one point, the garden scene suddenly started to storm, and Bourne cleverly used this as a chance to clean up the stage, as he had the dancers frantically run around the stage picking up props as if they were desperately trying to flee from the rain.

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Set and costume designer, Lez Brotherson, deserves a standing ovation not only for his inspired set, but for the incredibly beautiful and intricate costumes he dressed the cast in. The fanciful gowns paired with tiny fairy wings, really brought the entire production together. A personal favourite was Princess Aurora’s white ‘wedding’ gown in the final act, it was reminiscent of Tim Burton’s, Corpse Bride, in the best way possible.

To conclude, this is definitely not the Sleeping Beauty of your childhood. With vampires, and flying fairy babies, Bourne truly has turned the original tale on its head with a stunning gothic and modern twist.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty will be at The Lowry from 22nd November-26th November. For more information, visit the Lowry website.

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