REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s production of ‘The Red Shoes’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2020

 

Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes is an irresistible dance theatre production that radiates vintage glamour and vivacious grace.

Think of classic British ballet film The Red Shoes and delightfully dated images of ballerinas, and surreal displays of the agony of artistic expression, come to mind.

Whether you have watched Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 cinematic masterpiece or not, you have probably encountered the movie’s meditation on being an artist versus living a life. Or heard of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, in which a vain peasant girl disobediently slips on a pair of scarlet slippers that force her to dance until having her feet amputated and dying is a relief. Failing that, perhaps you are just aware that the film was one of the first to be shot in glorious Technicolor.

Whatever your level of familiarity, it’s likely you associate The Red Shoes with the magical lure of the theatre, the sacrifices that artists make, and the fine line between passion and obsession. And there is the dancing too, of course. A dance to the death once the heroine jumps into those blood-red shoes.

Celebrated choreographer Matthew Bourne might be known for his idiosyncratic re-imaginings of traditional ballets and stories, but his heartfelt interpretation of The Red Shoes is a gratifyingly faithful retelling.

 

The Red Shoes. Cordelia Braithwaite as Victoria Page and Liam Mower as Ivan Boleslawsky.

 

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NEWS: ‘The Red Shoes’ re-Bourne on stage as New Adventures returns – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2020

 

Matthew Bourne’s exquisite double Olivier Award-winning adaptation of classic dance film The Red Shoes is returning to enchant audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

Following its world premiere in 2016, theatregoers in Milton Keynes were among the first to be dazzled by Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes when it toured in 2017.

Three years later, the first ever revival is another opportunity to see this popular choreographer’s contemporary dance theatre troupe, New Adventures, in one of his most inspired creations yet.

 

Matthew Bourne's production of The Red Shoes. Ashley Shaw as Victoria Page.

 

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REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2018

 

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a cinematic wartime romance that memorably captures the glitz in the Blitz to illuminate the power of true love.

The popular choreographer’s dance theatre troupe, New Adventures, is making its annual visit to Milton Keynes Theatre this week with a revival of the 2010 reworking of his original 1997 production. There were standing ovations on opening night, so audiences are still lapping up this fanciful tale of love and conflict.

Set in the capital during the darkest days of the Second World War, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella sees ordinary Londoners navigating both affairs of the heart and the terror of nightly air raids.

 

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

 

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NEWS: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ is on its way to show us the power of true love – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2018

 

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures brings his wartime revival of Cinderella to Milton Keynes this month.

Dance devotees can look forward to a dark reimagining of a classic fairy tale when the admired choreographer’s popular company makes its annual visit to Milton Keynes Theatre.

Set in London during the Second World War, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a radical retelling that does not involve a prince, a fairy godmother or a royal ball. Instead, his evocative dance theatre production sees a wounded RAF pilot enjoy a chance encounter with a timid young woman. The couple spend just enough time together to fall head over heels in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.

 

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. Matthew Bourne's New Adventures.

 

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NEWS: Matthew Bourne’s production of ‘The Red Shoes’ is on its way – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2017

 

Blockbuster choreographer Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes will enthral audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre next week.

 

Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes is a contemporary ballet version of the classic dance film. The quintessential backstage melodrama tells an intoxicating story of obsession and possession, chronicling the tragedy of a ballerina whose intense desire to dance conflicts with her need for love.

Following a sold-out Christmas run at Sadler’s Wells, Bourne’s New Adventures company is bringing all the glamour of the 1948 British film to audiences beyond the capital on an extensive UK tour. Predictably, tickets have been selling exceptionally fast and extra dates for Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes have already been added.

Celebrated film-making duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger combined glorious Technicolor wizardry with emotive and dramatic performances to create their seminal motion picture. An all-consuming love for the arts generally — and dance especially — is at the heart of The Red Shoes. Significantly, Powell and Pressburger devoted plenty of screen time to dancers, ensuring their cinematic ode to the agony and ecstasy of dancing is largely told through the medium of dance itself. No wonder Bourne decided the film was the ideal source material for his latest production.

 

matthew-bournes-production-of-the-red-shoes

 

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