REVIEW ROUND-UP: Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells

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Matthew Bourne’s classic production returns to Sadler’s Wells – find out if it still lives up to expectations with LLLC’s review round-up…

The Telegraph★★★★ “This production – flaws and all – remains an embarrassment of riches, and in Matthew Ball, it may well have found its most electrifying leading man since the dancer who created the role in 1995, Adam Cooper. Just go.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “Iconic or not, this modern day Swan Lake will still be a moderate jump for ballet purists. At times, the chopping up of Tchaikovsky’s score might unsettle, and there are of course no 32 fouettes likely to be inserted anytime soon, but it remains an undoubtedly accomplished piece of theatre, with the trademark Bourne slickness and detail.”

London Theatre1: ★★★★ “This production perhaps concentrates too much on lighter aspects at the expense of the beat of truthmaking dark art but there’s no doubt it’s a first-class production superbly performed at Christmas time.”

The Observer: ★★★★★ “Swan Lake today is all too often a beautiful ritual, all too rarely a compelling drama. Bourne’s production is not perfect. The choreography can feel repetitive, and the characterisation of the vacuous, bitchy courtiers is so unvarying that it ultimately loses its edge. But the emotional truth of the piece prevails, as it always has.”

The Guardian: ★★★★ “But it’s the strength of the leads that really impresses. Two decades on, Bourne’s Swan Lake still retains its power.”

The Stage: ★★★★★ “The production remains as vital as ever, alive with intricate detail and soaring physicality.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★ “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake has earned its place as one of the seminal dance works of the past century, and its new incarnation clearly illustrates its timeless appeal.”

The Spy in the Stalls: ★★★★★ “This restaging of Matthew Bourne’s iconic Swan Lake is superb. It is wild, funny, vicious, lyrical and heartbreakingly beautiful. ”

Bachtrack: ★★★★★ “Bourne’s supremacy as a storyteller is unparalleled – no programme synopsis is ever required. He subverts the traditional version of the ballet, but his retelling is highly respectful of the music.”

The Independent: ★★★★★ “This is a Swan Lake that taps into the power of the classic – the yearning for love, for freedom – while finding its own spellbinding imagery.”

Swan Lake continues to play at Sadler’s Wells until 27 January 2019.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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