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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-12-02

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Review - Matthew Bourne's production of 'The Red Shoes'
Review by Dasha Ibrajeva...

HAVE you ever played Charades? I mean that game when for a limited time you need to explain the word or phrase without making a single sound... Not sure how good were you, but what I know for sure is that if Matthew Bourne played Charades, he would be the king of the game!

Heading to the Salford's
Lowry Theatre, on Tuesday night, 29 November 2016, to see the latest production of Matthew Bourne; the Red Shoes, I was aware that his work cannot suck. Hailed as the UK's most popular and successful choreographer and director, there has always been this big, bold high quality stamp on his name. But even knowing that, I still had a pinch of doubts, as this time there was a hard task; he had to tell the story within a story, or to be more precise; to show a ballet within a ballet!

The Red Shoes Ballet is based on the iconic 1948 film of Powell and Pressburger "The Red Shoes" and tells the story of a young ballerina, Victoria Page, who joins an established ballet company and becomes the principal dancer in a new ballet called:- "The Red Shoes", which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale:- "The Red Shoes". Already feeling yourself as the character of "Inception" movie? Don't worry! After ballet impresario, Boris Lermontov, who is secretly in love with Victoria Page, discovers the romance between his talented composer, Julian Craster, and his beautiful protege, Vicky, he cruelly puts her in front of the choice; career or love! This is a heart-breaking story of a woman who is torn to choose between dedication to dance and desire to love, and when I'm asking myself now whether it was possible to tell this story any better, my answer is "No"!

Set and staging, casting team, music, costumes, witty humour, orchestra; everything was simply the best! The quality stamp didn't let down this time again. Obviously, much of the credits go to the dancers, as they are the ones who bring their characters to life. The star of the show, without a doubt, was Victoria Page, portrayed by graceful Ashely Shaw. This girl has stolen my heart since the time I 1st saw her performing Kim Bogg's role in Bourne's production of Edward Scissorhands a few years ago. Time may have passed, but nothing has changed. I'm still fascinated by her magical dance. She is so fragile, just like a feather floating around on the stage so effortlessly. And have you seen her wrists? These are the wrists to die for! Her partners on stage; Sam Archer (Boris Lermontov) and Chris Trenfield (Julian Craster) were equally inspiring and gifted. Apart from being real dance professionals, they managed to grow into their roles so naturally that you simply believed in their characters from the beginning right through to the very end.

The set and staging was breathtaking, as always. The special ovation goes to a brilliant genius, Lez Brotherston, who found a very clever and creative way to portray 'ballet within a ballet' scenes. My personal favourite was the scene during The Red Shoes ballet at the end of Act 1, when the swirling wind was projected onto a massive white canvas. The spectacle was hypnotising!

If you are still reading this, I highly recommend you to go and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate (or maybe even something stronger than that) wrap yourself up in a soft blanket and watch a classic movie of Powell and Pressburger "The Red Shoes." And if you still haven't bought tickets for Bourne's "The Red Shoes", please run to the nearest box office and don't deprive yourself from having a fantastic night out to remember!

5 stars out of 5

If you have seen this show, please do let us know what you thought of it via emailing us to:-

For information about the show go to:- New-Adventures.Net/The-Red-Shoes.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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