REVIEW: Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Picture: Helen Maybanks

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Picture: Helen Maybanks

First published in Entertainments

I WAS looking forward to seeing Matthew Bourne’s take on Swan Lake – an all-male ballet.

But when I arrived at the theatre I discovered it was neither all-male nor really a ballet.

The show is more contemporary dance than traditional ballet and Bourne has created something that is enormously powerful and emotive.

Visually, it is absolutely stunning, and Liam Mower was particularly impressive as the Prince.

Mower was one of the three boys who shared the lead role in the original London cast of Billy Elliot the Musical, and his ability shone in this role. He created beautiful lines and his dances with the Swan/Stranger character were quite spectacular to watch.

There was some great humour in the earlier scenes, particularly from Anjali Mehra as the girlfriend, before the all-male flock of swans made their big entrance.

This was where Bourne’s version really differed from the original ballet, and when this production was first performed 18 years ago it was a controversial move that some disapproved of. But I thought the male swans were majestic and a delight to watch, bringing something really different to a score everyone knows so well.

Chris Trenfield was a fantastic Swan, and really shone in Act 3 as the mysterious dark Stranger (the Black Swan), seducing everyone at the Royal Ball.

Despite being in its 18th year, Matthew Bourne’s production still feels modern and is mesmerising throughout.

I wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed that my initial assumptions were wrong.

Corey Ross

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