Tuesday, 13 November 2018

"Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake"
Nottingham Theatre Royal.
Matthew Bourne's New Adventure productions are the equivalent of a Harvey Nichols shop. Classy and the best that you can get. Well that just about sums up this production.
A very different production from the one that came here about four years ago but equally as mesmerising. This art form is wonderfully relaxing to watch but is as exciting as any thriller around.
The swan is a beautiful, serene creature but with a very nasty, violent, protective streak, as you'll discover in this production.
The Prince (Liam Mower) seems to be having some bad dreams but his mother, The Queen (Nicole Kabera) doesn't seem to be too bothered. Now the Prince seems a little confused because we see him with a mother fixation, almost bordering on incest, until he meets "The Girlfriend" (Freya Field), who is a wonderful comic character. The scene where she is in the Royal Box at the Opera House, is hilarious!
Must mention the costumes for the Tree Trolls in this section because they were out of this world, as was their make up.
And I also loved the education in theatre etiquette in this section.
Well. the Queen is against this relationship and so, after he feels he has lost the love of his life at "The Swank" nightclub, he decides to top himself in the lake, which just happens to have many swans swimming on it!
They swans come alive but the leader (Max Westwell) takes a bit of a liking to The Prince....or is this all in the imagination, or dream of the Prince's. Make your own mind up.
Anyway, the tables are turned when The Queen is attracted to a younger man at a ball but in the middle of the ball, in comes a very handsome young man and impresses the Queen. Needless to say, The Prince is not as impressed.
Loved the way the stranger (guess who) kept teasing The Prince with his lascivious glances while leading The Queen on with his dance moves. The section where the stranger and The Prince dance is heady and intoxicating to watch, and you just can't take your eyes off the stage and the two amazing dancers.
The Prince's jealousy gets the better of him, as the Stranger flits and flirts with the Queen and several of the other guests at the ball, and The Prince decides to take things into his own hands with tragic results which leads the Queen to also take drastic action. This action in turn leads to an amazing finale.... which I am not going to tell you but is pretty explosive and involves a King Size bed and many swans.
Ballet is no longer for snobs and Sir Matthew Bourne makes sure of that with his wonderful comic touches. What he also ensures is that ballet is sexy and very watchable.
The dancers are athletes. You only have to look at their bodies to see that. What you will also see is that the dancers are not all small and wiry. There are different body shapes, come on let's face it you have to admire the work that goes into creating all of those abs. Their stamina is endless.
Sir Matthew always uses the best dancers, the best costumes, the best scenery and that is why if you're going to see ballet, you need to see the best, and that is, in my opinion, Sir Matthew Bourne.
A wonderful re-working of the Swan Lake story and the magical music of Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. At times as delicate as a sheet of gold leaf, at other times brash and bouncy.
An incredible group of dancers who will keep you transfixed to that stage. They are also incredible story tellers without saying a word.
So if you enjoy seeing a whole host of half naked, sweaty men with fantastic physiques, and some very sexy ladies, go and see this production. If you also appreciate the art of dance and love a beautiful story told impeccably, you also need to see this incredible gender-fluid production.
I thought their previous version of "Swan Lake" was amazing, and I can credit that one for creating a ballet fan out of me, but this different version is just as wonderful and just as an emotional ending as their previous one.
A very well deserved standing ovation at the end, and the performers could have been on that stage taking bow after bow for even longer than they did.
"Swan Lake" is at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 17 November 2018. Do not miss this one. It's swanderful!

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