Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Have you heard the fairy tale about the girl who is cursed by the wicked witch and falls asleep for 100 years? Of course you have!

What you may not have seen, or even believed to be possible, is the thoroughly breathtaking way that this dark tale can be brought to life in such a descriptive and contemporary way, through ballet. Matthew Bourne has completed his trio of Tchaikovsky ballets in his world renowned, extravagant style.

From the opening scene the audience is captivated by the beautiful set, perfect costumes and the introduction of the key characters through beautiful choreography that is exceptionally executed by Bourne’s cast – dancers of the highest level. The show even includes some absolutely endearing puppetry through the opening scene as The Baby Aurora is introduced and the fairies of Passion, Rebirth, Plenty, Spirit and Temperament all introduce themselves as her protectors.

The Dark Fairy and her son played menacingly to perfection by Tom Clark, terrorise the royal family until the deed is done, the curse is struck and as Princess Aurora’s romance between Leo, the royal gamekeeper is just beginning to bear fruit, it is all tragically taken away.

Fortunately, Count Lilac – King of the fairies, played by Christopher Marney, is on hand to ensure that there can be a happily ever after.


Throughout the show Bourne adds comedy and heart warming moments. Sleeping Beauty is presented through four captivating scenes, perfectly capturing the dark underlying themes of the piece whilst allowing for strong dance numbers that will have any fan of dance simply left in awe.

There’s a reason that Matthew Bourne is held in such high regard throughout the world of theatre and that’s because he has an outstanding ability to see every detail, always presenting the very best in his field.

This is a 5 star, world class production. This week you can catch it at the New Wimbledon theatre before continues it’s UK tour until May, when it leaves our shores to tour the world. Take our advice, treat yourself, or the dance lover in your life to a truly mesmerising show. Click here for full tour information and tickets »

Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY_ Dominic North (Leo) and Ashley Shaw (Aurora) 2_ Photo by Johan Persson

Photo Credits: Johan Persson

About Author /

Rob Stanway is the Founder of At The Theatre. He has reviewed the UK's best touring theatre (and much of the west end) for this website since 2005.

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