Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY Comes to Birmingham Hippodrome Tonight
Chief Executive Stuart Griffiths said: "Matthew Bourne's work is always warmly received here in Birmingham and this year is certainly no exception. A new production is very exciting and this is reflected in the phenomenal demand for tickets that we have seen over the past few months.
"I am thrilled to announce that we have now added an extra matinee performance on Wednesday 6 February at 2pm to give even more people the chance to experience this brand new production."
Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY sees the choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer's ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake. Both productions have played to multiple sell-out audiences at Birmingham Hippodrome over the years.
Perrault's timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years, was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story's heroine, in the year of the ballet's first performance; the height of the Fin-de-Siecle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination.
As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forwards in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythicAl Golden age of long Summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story!
Matthew Bourne's haunting new scenario is a gothic tale for all ages; the traditional tale of Good vs. Evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story, across the decades, that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.
Matthew Bourne's new production introduces several characters not seen in Petipa's famous Ballet or Grimm's fairy tale. The Royal Family is headed by King Benedict and Queen Eleanor. Princess Aurora's romantic interest is not a Prince, but the royal gamekeeper, Leo. Representing the central forces of good and evil are Count Lilac ("the King of the Fairies") and the Dark Fairy Carabosse. In another innovation, Bourne has created the character of Caradoc, the sinister but charming son of Carabosse. Princess Aurora's Fairy Godparents are named Ardor, Hiberna, Autumnus, Feral and Tantrum.
The leading role of 'Leo' will be created by Christopher Trenfield and DOMINIC NORTH. Local boy Christopher was born and raised in Bromsgrove and made his first professional appearance right here on the Birmingham Hippodrome stage as Gavroche in Les Miserables. This year Christopher has been seen as 'Tony' in Play Without Words and in the title role in Nutcracker!. He has also played 'The Swan/Stranger' in Bourne's Swan Lake. Dominic holds the distinction of appearing in more New Adventures productions than any other dancer (Sleeping Beauty will be his 9th production with Matthew Bourne) and was most recently seen in the 25th Anniversary Triple Bill, Early Adventures. He was also nominated as "Outstanding Male Dancer" at The National Dance Awards for his performance as Edward Scissorhands.
Creating the central role of 'Aurora' in this new production are Hannah Vassallo and Ashley Shaw. Hannah co-created the role of 'Kim' in New Adventures' Edward Scissorhands, and has played leading roles in The Car Man, Nutcracker! and Play Without Words. She also played 'Baby' in the West End production of Dirty Dancing for over two years. Ashley made her debut with New Adventures in Swan Lake in 2009 and has since played the title role in Matthew Bourne's Cinderella and 'Sugar' in Nutcracker!
'Count Lilac' will be portrayed by one of New Adventures' most accomplished performers Christopher Marney, and in his debut in a leading role for New Adventures, Liam Mower. Christopher was most recently seen in the highly successful Triple Bill, Early Adventures. He created the role of 'Cyril Vane' in Dorian Gray, has played 'The Prince' in Swan Lake and had a big personal success as 'The Angel' in Bourne's Cinderella in 2010. Liam Mower is the Olivier Award-winning original star of the West End hit Billy Elliott. Joining New Adventures in 2011 upon graduation from The Rambert School to appear in Nutcracker!, he has also recently appeared in Play Without Words.
The twin roles of 'Carabosse' and 'Caradoc' will be shared between three versatile New Adventures performers; BEN BUNCE (Swan Lake), TOM JACKSON GREAVES (Cinderella, Nutcracker!, Early Adventures) and Adam Maskell (Dorian Gray, Nutcracker! [title role],' Tony' in Play Without Words and 'The Angel' in Cinderella).
'King Benedict' will be played by EDWIN RAY (Swan Lake, 'The Pilot' in Cinderella and Nutcracker! [title role)] and 'Queen Eleanor' by one of New Adventures' most loved leading ladies, Kerry Biggin (leading roles in Edward Scissorhands, Nutcracker!, The Car Man, Swan Lake, Highland Fling and most recently, Early Adventures) and Daisy May Kemp (Swan Lake, Nutcracker! and Play Without Words).
Completing the SLEEPING BEAUTY company are Daniel Collins, Pia Driver, Phil Jack Gardner, Sophia Hurdley, Nicole Kabera, Mari Kamata, Katy Lowenhoff, Kate Lyons, Leon Moran, Luke Murphy, Danny Reubens and Joe Walkling.
Britain's most popular dance showman works again with three of his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists; The Tony and Olivier Award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (Set and Costumes), Paule Constable (Lighting) and Paul Groothuis (Sound Design) who created the acclaimed surround-sound for last years hit production of Cinderella.
Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY runs at Birmingham Hippodrome tonight, 5 - Saturday 9 February 2013. Perf times: Tue - Sat Eves 7.30pm, Wed & Thu Mat 2pm, Sat Mat 2.30pm. Tickets: £16-£39.50, book online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000