Sunday, 14 September 2014

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake by Sister Morticia (@sistermorticia)

Sister Morticia has kindly agreed to share her thoughts of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake which she saw at Sadler's Wells earlier on in the year.  You can read my review here from when I saw it at Bradford's Alhambra Theatre in March 2014.

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
by Sister Morticia

 Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
 Photo Credit: Bill Cooper

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake is a truly magical experience. I have seen it many times with many different dancers taking the roles and all interpreting it in their own way, putting their own influence on the story, making it different and new every time and making me fall in love with the characters all over again.

The production opens with the young Prince, having a nightmare about a huge swan, hammering at his window trying to get in, leaving him to wake, frightened and confused, clutching his toy swan. This nightmare, or dream, is to foreshadow to his life.........

And later when Prince meets the Swan!

"A strong, beautiful, graceful Swan! A perfect image of freedom, of strength, the absolute paragon of everything that the Prince could never be, everything that he could yearn for, dream of...and this magical creature is here before him, and the Prince falls under his spell." 

"For the first time in his life, he feels energised and exhilarated.  As the night ends and the swans fly away, the Prince is reborn and happy for the first time!"  

It is the most magical, joyous and heartbreaking production to watch. It is beautiful.  Liam Mower, who played the Prince, was perfect.  His dancing was incredible to watch, but his characterisation of the Prince reduced me to an emotional wreck. It is sometimes hard for the Prince to compete with the Swan for stage presence, but Liam Mower had every member of the audience entranced by his performance. He was so fragile, so alone, so desperate for his mother to love him and acknowledge him.  His disappointment was palpable and his pain was felt by everyone.  His Prince truly loved the Swan, loved him as a physical being, loved his nearness, needed him and seeing them dance together was a wonderful experience.  His Swan, Christopher Trenfield, was strong and protective, and as the Stranger he was cruel and callous, but mesmerising.  Suranne Curtin was a beautiful, distant Queen. To show love to her son would be weakness, her beauty was cold and harsh, but her playful coquettishness with the soldiers was perfect.  Anjali Mehra brought so much natural comedy to her portrayal of the Girlfriend. But her hurt and desperate attempts to make amends to the Prince were completely believable and made her a fully rounded character, not just comedy value.

Matthew Bourne's productions are always magical, not traditional ballets but filled with strong characters and his dancers are gifted actors who can not only dance beautifully, but  portray the characters so strongly that the audience forgets that not a single word is said through the show and yet the story is clear.  I have seen Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake over 100 times at theatres all over the country since it started in 1995, and every time it still moves moves me, delights me, casts it's spell and I fall in love with the swans all over again.

Sister Morticia
August 2012

I would like to thank Sister Morticia for the review and we are now looking forward to Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake returning to our stages in the not too distant future! In the meantime we have their productions of Lord of the Flies, Edward Scissorhands and Car Man to look forward to in the meantime!

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