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REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

Jonathan Ollivier as The Swan in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Photo by Bill Cooper [18]

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TO say I was moved by Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is rather an understatement.

I was, in fact, overwhelmed by the whole production.

In my opinion if ever there was perfect theatre this has to be it. From the set design and costumes, to Tchaikovsky’s emotive music and delicious dancing everything fitted into place just so.

But it is Bourne’s direction and choreography which makes Swan Lake stand out from its peers.

It is almost 20 years since Bourne’s Swan Lake premiered and the response way back in 1995 wasn’t all favourable. There were many walk-outs, mainly from men who just didn’t like the way the love story unfolded.

I find this reasoning totally bizarre – everyone deserves to be loved, whatever their sexuality and this is a poignant tale of just that.

Unfortunately the love affair between prince and swan has consequences and the finale of The Dying Swan is heart-breaking to say the least and moved me to tears.

However, the production isn’t just about these two characters and there are many great roles including the queen who is glamorous, sexy and cold, and the girlfriend who brings with her a comedy element to the story.

The tale ended with a rapturous and well-deserved standing ovation and me contemplating the story and the effect had on me. Without a doubt it is thought-provoking.

Bourne has, again, taken a traditional story, stripped it to the bare bones, turned it on its head, put it all back together and triumphed.

It is hard to put a finger on what makes Bourne’s productions so special – there are so many layers to each one and so many ways to interpret his stories.

For me he is a genius and I consider myself blessed each time I sit in a theatre and watch his handiwork.

Who needs words when dance can express so much?

Swan Lake percforms at Theatre Royal Nottingham until March 15. Tickets are available by calling 0115 989 5555. More details about the tour can by found by logging on to www.swanlaketour.com

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