The Red Shoes
Only in a Matthew Bourne ballet could dancers go from a hot tango to a Gay Gordon in the whirl and twirl of a formal drawing room.
Yes, The Red Shoes have arrived at the Bristol Hippodrome and it is utterly brilliant but not strictly ballroom.
Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale the 1948 classic film is mirrored on stage as a production within a production.
An ambition well-heeled young ballerina is torn between her dance career and desire for love.
For those who don’t know the story some of the symbolism could be lost in the telling of this tale with its revolving stage curtains hanging from a proscenium arch, shooting stars, shimmering silk backdrops and the train whistle and woo-woo sounds.
Australian Ashley Shaw is outstanding as red-head Victoria Page the girl who gets her lucky break when the exhausted principal dancer comes a cropper.
In the ballet scene Vicky is seduced by a pin-striped spiv wearing a red silk tie and dangling red ribbons in a black and white set full of matchstick figures dressed in velvet and lace.
The macabre moment by the memorial stone acts as a foreboding.
In lighter moments, you get beaus and belles playing with beach balls and it won’t be a Matthew Bourne ballet without some bare chests.
And there is snigger, snigger the music hall duo dancing like Egyptians flashing their ‘tangoed’ Y-fronts.
This is a talented company who dance barefoot, wearing stilettoes, ballet pumps, daps and red ribbons.
The role of Victoria Page, the girl who dreams of being a great dancer, immortalised on screen by Moira Shearer, has been created by New Adventures star, Ashley, most recently seen across the UK and internationally as Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Sam Archer who created the title role of Edward Scissorhands in 2005 and who has starred in Cinderella, The Car Man and Play Without Words is the Svengali-like Impresario Boris Lermontov.
One of New Adventures’ finest leading men, Chris Trenfield, was the musical genius and lover Julian Craster on press night on Wednesday, April 4.
The dancers deservedly took several curtain calls with an audience on its feet and applauding enthusiastically.
The most winning sequences in Bourne’s production are the big set pieces.
An arty homage to Hollywood takes a contemporary bow – loved it, loved it, loved it.
Fellow Nailsea resident Pam Blower was also in the first night audience at the city theatre.
She said: “Typical Mathew Bourne, a completely new take on The Red Shoes.
“The leading lady was superb and the scenery/effects amazing.
“I loved the cafe and beach scenes too.”
And Brian Ashton went with a coachload of villagers from Locking, near Weston-super-Mare.
He said; "The Red Shoes was two hours of wonderful entertainment.
"It moved at a hectic pace so sometimes I had difficulty in keeping up with the storyline so I would suggest everyone read the programme first which sets out everything,
"Superb sets for a touring production, wonderful costumes, fabulous dancing and slick changes.
"It's Sir Matthew Bourne now you know as he was knighted for services to dance in May 2016 by HRH Prince Charles.
"Can't wait for Cinderella next year,and set during World War 2."
Matthew Bourne's Cinderella returns to Sadler’s Wells in 2017 for its16th Christmas season and this will be followed by a major UK tour when hopefully Bristol will be on the list!
PREVIEW: The tearjerker ballet The Red Shoes is coming to Bristol.
An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences The Red Shoes will dazzle your senses and break your heart even if you know the story.
Produced by the amazing Matthew Bourne and sold out at many venues extra dates have been added to the tour incuding some in the US due to the unprecedented demand for tickets.
So is you haven't got your tickets yet you have better be quick.
Based on the film by Micheale Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale the music is by Bernard Herrmann.
The Red Shoes opened at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in November and is now five weeks into a sold out eight week Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells, where it opened to rave reviews.
The performances at Sadler’s Wells are the fastest selling in New Adventures history.
The production is also sold out in Woking and Birmingham with limited availability at the remaining venues throughout February - Milton Keynes and Norwich.
The role of Victoria Page, the girl who dreams of being a great dancer, immortalised on screen by Moira Shearer, has been created by New Adventures star, Ashley Shaw, most recently seen across the UK and internationally as Aurora in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.
Rising star and fellow Aurora, Cordelia Braithwaite, also plays the role, along with Sleeping Beauty favourite Katrina Lyndon in her principal role debut at certain performances.
Sam Archer who created the title role of Edward Scissorhands in 2005 and who has starred in Cinderella, The Car Man and Play Without Words has returned to the company to play the iconic role of Svengali-like Impresario Boris Lermontov.
One of New Adventures’ finest leading men, Chris Trenfield, also plays Lermentov, as well as musical genius, Julian Craster; the man with whom Victoria Page falls in love.
Sharing the role of Julian will be one of New Adventures most popular dancers, Dominic North, who was last year nominated for his second National Dance Award, along with rising star Andrew Monaghan who has already debuted leading roles in Swan Lake, The Car Man and Sleeping Beauty.
Completing the principal cast are the leading dancers of the Lermentov Company.
Prima ballerina, Irina Boronskaja is played by Michela Meazza, who returns to New Adventures where she has danced and created many leading roles including Lady H in Dorian Gray, Joyce in Edward Scissorhands and The Stepmother in Cinderella.
She is joined by company favourites Anjali Mehra, most recently seen as both The Queen and The Girlfriend in Swan Lake and Nicole Kabera, who most recently played Queen Eleanor in Sleeping Beauty.
Ivan Boleslawsky - the role made famous by Robert Helpmann - has been created by one of New Adventures finest young dancers, Liam Mower, tthe original West End Billy Elliot but now taking on his seventh principal role with New Adventures.
Also playing Ivan is popular company dancer, Danny Reubens, who scored a great personal success recently as Jack in Lord Of The Flies.
Company choreographer and character dancer Grischa Ljubov, has been created by veteran company dancer, Glenn Graham, who as well as playing The Swan in Swan Lake has recently been seen as King Benedict in Sleeping Beauty.
Also playing the role of Grischa will be Leon Moran recently seen in Sleeping Beauty, The Car Man and as Jim in Edward Scissorhands.
Completing the New Adventures cast as the leading dancers and creative team behind the Ballet Lermentov are Steph Billers, Will Bozier, Jack Jones, Daisy May Kemp, Phil King, Dominic Lamb, Kate Lyons, Joe Walkling and Katie Webb. Joshua Harriette (Ballet Black, Michael Clark Company) and Seren Williams (Ballet Central graduate) made their debuts with New Adventures in this production.
The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.
Matthew Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Powell and Pressburger film reunites him with his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists and the team that brought you the world wide hit, Sleeping Beauty; Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).
This world premiere is set to a new score arranged by New Adventures Associate Artist, Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann who is most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese and whose work ranges from the witty and playfully robust to the achingly romantic and bittersweet.
It runs at the Bristol Hippodrome from Tuesday to Saturday, April 4-8.
For tickets from £18.40 click HERE.