Matthew Bourne's, The Red Shoes at Milton Keynes Theatre
MKFM's Arts Correspondent, Nancy Stevens attended the world premiere of Matthew Bourne's, The Red Shoes at Milton Keynes Theatre.
I became a Matthew Bourne fan when I saw Edwards Scissorhands in 2015 here at Milton Keynes Theatre, and fell in love with his sense of theatrics, attention to detail and flair for the unusual. He is widely hailed, and justifiably so, as the UK's most popular choreographer and director. His body of work is vast, and not confined to ballet. He has choreographed Oliver, My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins to name a few. He is, course, most well-known for his production of The Car Man, which really set the ballet world alight.
The Red Shoes is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale, and is the story is of a gifted Victoria Page (played in the classic film by Moira Shearer) and danced exquisitely by a flame-haired Ashley Shaw. Shaw has been principal dancer in the past three Bourne productions. Vicky catches the eye of a Diaghilev-type ballet impresario, Lermontov (Sam Archer) whose dedication to his art will stop at nothing but perfection and borders on the obsessive. Page falls for composer Julian Craster, stunningly danced by Dominic North. Lemontov gives her an ultimatum - she must choose between her man or her love of dance. It was a privilege to watch Liam Mower (who played the original Billy Elliott), dance the part of Ivan Boleslawsky with a laconic ease and grace.
The eponymous Red Shoes have a life of their own and once worn, the wearer has no choice but to dance wherever the shoes take her. It is a ballet within a ballet, and often the lines of reality are blurred. What is fact and what is fiction?
The costuming was spectacular and authentic, and transported one back to the glamorous forties, of Dior’s ‘New Look’, when smoking was considered elegant, and red lipstick was de rigueur. I loved the beach scene in Monte Carlo, which reminded me, ironically, of the ‘Lay all your love on me’, beach scene from Mamma Mia! There was clever collaboration of other dance styles, including the Charleston, tango and waltz.
I was transfixed throughout and usually through a traditional ballet, I tend to clock watch after the interval, but Bourne's interpretation is unique and I did not want it to end. My 16-year-old son, studying dance at college at which ballet is the main genre, accompanied me. He was utterly mesmerised, too.
I am no balletomane and loved ballet as a little girl but suffered the ignominy of being asked to leave my ballet class aged five when it was clear that I was never going to be the next Margot or Darcey. However, I still watch with envy when I see ballerinas with their exquisite pale skin and slim limbs pirouetting on stage, and marvel at the sheer athleticism of the male dancers when jeté-ing or lifting dancers into the air with the utmost east. It truly is a magical world and I am glad that Matthew Bourne has allowed us a glimpse of it.
I cannot praise The Red Shoes highly enough, and Matthew really is the Bourne Supreme,
The Red Shoes runs until Saturday 18 February at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Sponsored Stories You May Like
Milton Keynes Gallery to offer all visitors a free hot drink as they reopen next week
Milton Keynes Gallery will be offering all visitors a free hot drink to mark their reopening next week.
'Do not be alarmed': Emergency services will be training inside Milton Keynes hotel tomorrow
Emergency services have announced that teams will be training inside a city-centre hotel tomorrow (12/5).
Popular competition returns to see if Milton Keynes is home to Britain's best home bar
Following last year's success, a competition has returned to see if Milton Keynes is home to Britain's best home bar.
Milton Keynes barbershop to give free cup of tea and haircut to the homeless
A local barbershop has decided to open up on Sundays to give free haircuts to the homeless community.
Milton Keynes police warn against rise in distraction burglaries/rogue traders in local area
Due to a rise in reports of distraction burglaries occurring and rogue traders operating throughout Milton Keynes, Thames Valley Police has taken to social media to issue a warning in order to safeguard local residents.
Milton Keynes school praises 6-year-old pupil after spotting fire
Local firefighters were called to the site of Heelands School after an alarm was raised by a 6-year-old pupil yesterday morning (10/05).
Milton Keynes children plant trees across local parks and play areas
As part of a local donation programme from Community Trees Milton Keynes, 20 volunteer families planted 100 saplings across various parks and play areas in Newport Pagnell.
Milton Keynes police holding online Q&A this Friday
Thames Valley Police are holding an online question and answer session with Milton Keynes residents about their concerns.
Milton Keynes Council encourage locals to take part in celebrating Fostering Fortnight 2021
Milton Keynes Council will be hosting a number of events throughout 10-23 May in order to mark the national celebration of the fostering community.
Ten coronavirus cases recorded throughout Milton Keynes yesterday
According to the latest data, there were ten coronavirus cases recorded in Milton Keynes yesterday (10/05).
Milton Keynes school temporarily closes following fire earlier today
Local firefighters were called to the site of Heelands School after a fire was discovered by a pupil at 11am earlier this morning (10/05).
Conservative Matthew Barber elected Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner
The Conservatives have retained their control over the position of Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner as their candidate Matthew Barber was elected following the vote count earlier today (10/05).
You May Have Missed
Coronavirus test centre employee's outcry over being charged to park whilst at work in Milton Keynes
Employees at the drive-in coronavirus test centre in Central Milton Keynes have to pay to park each day, it has been revealed.
Milton Keynes local coronavirus case numbers do NOT include Drive-Through test centre results
A national newspaper has revealed that government coronavirus case numbers on a local authority level do not include any tests from local drive-through test centres and some home testing kits.
EXCLUSIVE: McDonalds to restart breakfast service in Milton Keynes from July 8th
MKFM understands that McDonalds will be re-starting their breakfast service in all Milton Keynes stores from 8th July.
Cafe Rouge to close in Milton Keynes as owners of chain enter administration
Cafe Rouge in Milton Keynes will be closing permanently as the owners of the chain enter administration.
Deadly blue-green algae appears in another Milton Keynes park as warning sent to dog owners
Deadly blue-green algae has been identified in another Milton Keynes park as dog owners are warned to keep their animals out of the lake.
'Scum' spray-painted onto Milton Keynes couple's store window as well as other graffiti
A Milton Keynes couple have had the word 'Scum' spray painted onto their store window, as well as other graffiti on their store sign.
The areas in Milton Keynes where the most deaths involving coronavirus have sadly happened
The Office for National Statistics have revealed new localised data on the number of deaths which have taken place involving coronavirus.
Cat is stabbed twice in Milton Keynes
Last week, a family discovered that their pet cat had been stabbed in each of her back legs.