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Matthew Bourne’s ever popular Swan Lake has returned to Milton Keynes Theatre with a ‘re-imagined’ version.
The essence of this modern reinterpretation of the ballet is still there – famously this production turned the classic version on its head with a muscular and menacing bare chested male gang of swans replacing the traditional tutus and pointed shoes. But this new version from award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (Set & Costumes) and Paule Constable (Lighting) takes it a step further with a very dark interpretation of the story as we follow The Prince’s descent into mental illness as he struggles with his repressed life, strained relationship with his mother and hallucinations.
Although the story is certainly dark and tragic, this is
somehow an uplifting show with Tchaikovsky’s stirring orchestral music
remaining untouched and plenty of humour – look out for the corgi on wheels,
the half-hearted stripper in the nightclub and a very funny scene with the
Prince’s girlfriend disrupting a very tongue-in-cheek ballet performance at the
Matthew Bourne has collected over thirty international
accolades including an Olivier Award in the UK and three Tonys on Broadway for
his Swan Lake since its debut 24 years ago and it seems this is a show which still
has much to give.
The glistening masculinity of the swans as they hiss, stare and stomp around the stage in their feathered shorts is breathtaking and there are some outstanding performances from the lead, Liam Mower as The Prince who was one of the original Billy Elliots in the stage show. He perfectly embodied the character’s naivity and vulnerability and you can absolutely relate as he is swept away in the dream world of the swans. His obsession with the Swan relies on great chemistry with Max Bestwell who plays the Swan/Stranger. His alluring presence and movement is captivating as he leads his flock of macho swans with real intensity and drama.
This is a beautiful and emotional show which will sweep you
away and you will understand why audiences keep returning to see this
production. The sight of the performers swooping, flapping their arms and
craning their necks in unison as they recreate the swans movements perfectly is
something that needs to be experienced.
Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 2nd February 2019.
Tickets can be purchased at www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes (bkg fee) or by calling their Box Office on 0844 871 7652 (bkg fee).
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