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Bravo Birmingham Royal Ballet for a beautiful Sleeping Beauty now on stage at the Bristol Hippodrome.

The story begins and ends in a rather grand palace ballroom and once the spell is cast the stage transforms into a dark taggled forest blocking the route to a fairytale castle

Lit by candelabras it is all marvellous set pieces and magnificent solos by dancers who were coached earlier this year by Dame Darcey Bussell.

She said: “Sleeping Beauty is the ballet in which everything comes together, it’s the most extraordinary score and the choreography really challenges every generation that comes to it.

“It also uses the skills of the entire company so for any big classical company it really highlights their talents.

“And with Sir Peter Wright’s Sleeping Beauty, the sets and the design are so beautiful it really is spectacular from the moment the curtain goes up.

“It has such energy that there’s never a dull moment.

“All the characters are incredibly strong and they all have a part to play and I think Sir Peter keeps that story thread from the beginning to the very end.”

it was a flawless performance by Yu Kurihara as young Princess Aurora  and Australian principal Lachlan Monaghan who lends gravitas as prince Florimund but who danced what among the other dancers we aren’t sure.

However, the good Lilac Fairy was pretty in pink and the dramatic Maleficent-style entrance of bad fairy Carabosse with a posse of blackened souls was awe-inspiring.

Someone in the audience shouted ‘amazing’ when the princess performed a tippy-toed arabesque for what seemed like an age and others applauded loudly when the dancers twirled in the air or glided in formation back and forth across the stage.

The rewamped costumes and tutus are stupendous thanks to a £60k donation from BRB supporters ahead of the UK tour of The Sleeping Beauty in the 40th year of the production.

We wondered how Sir Peter Wright’s classic staging of Sleeping Beauty would compare with the Varna International Ballet company version reviews not so favourably in January this year, or the madcap version by Matthew Bourne seen by us in October 2015 or even for My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty with a narrator for the young audience in May 2015?

That’s not to mention all the Sleeping Beauty pantos we have seen too!

Well, Sir Peter Wright’s sumptuous staging of The Sleeping Beauty is right up there with the best.

The Sleeping Beauty is the fourth of Sir Peter Wright’s productions to be presented by the company since autumn 2022, following Coppélia, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

The acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia performs Tchaikovsky’s glorious score live, with designs by Philip Prowse and lighting design by Mark Jonathan.

Sir Peter Wright said: “I find it hard to believe that this tour marks the 40th anniversary of The Sleeping Beauty.

“This has always been the most opulent of ballets, but Philip Prowse’s incredible design created a unique fairytale world - with almost 30 fairy character tutus alone - that allows dancers to really inhabit some of classical ballet’s most famous roles.”

Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading touring ballet company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future.

The Sleeping Beauty is at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday, April 20.

It was so good I could go see it twice, loved it.

For online tickets from £28 plus booking fee go to

Carol Ann Deacon

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Flawless fairystory ballet

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