Tag Archives: Sleeping Beauty

Review Sleeping Beauty Wales Millennium Centre by Patricia Stowell


Patricia is part of the Time Credit network supported by Spice. She accessed her tickets through volunteering in her local  community.

 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Many volunteers and Spice Time Credit users recently had an unexpected and very welcome trip to the ballet Sleeping Beauty.   Wales Millennium Centre had generously offered tickets to be used by members of the community who could ‘pay’ with their well earned Time Credits. The tickets were quickly taken up and many had to admit that they had never seen a ballet and some had never visited the WMC before so what an opportunity this was to get close up and personal to a fabulous performance.

But this was no ordinary Sleeping Beauty. The Matthew Bourne production was full of colour, movement and energy performed to the well known music by Tchaikovsky.   It was a gothic tale for all ages, a love story fraught with curses and spells. The costumes were outstanding, from the very first scene setting the christening of Aurora with a life-like puppet of the baby girl drawing in the audience from the beginning.   We watched as the familiar fairy tale of a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years was enacted and danced through various scenes.

As Aurora grows up, we were taken through the fashions of the day, including a genteel tennis game followed by afternoon tea on the lawn, watching the antics of her suitors as they tried to gain her attention. Years later, when Aurora wakes up, we are in the modern world, still beset with many temptations and sinister goings-on.

It was an outstanding performance, full of magic, fairies, vampires, love and romance, danced by incredible dancers . There was certainly no falling asleep during this performance.

Thank you once again to the Wales Millennium Centre for giving us the opportunity to experience a beautiful and amazing ballet.

Review Sleeping Beauty Wales Millennium Centre by Ellie Lawrence


 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Hi, I am 10 years old and this was my first ever trip to see a Ballet. Before we went I expected there to be three good fairies that went to live with Sleeping Beauty and keep her safe so the evil witch couldn’t get her, just like I’d read in the story.

The show was at the Wales Millennium Centre, the venue is spectacular, inside and out. After a short amount of time in the queue we exchanged our time credits for tickets and went to find our seats. We had fantastic seats only a few rows from the front with lots of space and a great view of the stage.

The show was really good with lots of really great parts in it, lots of music and amazing dancers. The dancers took us on an emotional journey of excitement, laughter, fear, sadness and delight. I was surprised how they managed to tell the story without using any words.

I really liked the puppet baby at the start particularly when it was climbing up the curtains. I also liked it when the evil and good fairies were dancing around the baby in the night. I would definitely recommend this show.


Review Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty by Bethan Hooton


On the 26th of April, I was lucky enough to see Sleeping Beauty at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. I haven’t really seen a ballet performance, besides the odd Nutcracker performance at Christmas, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was absolutely blown away, it was incredible.

I love the Disney interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, but I think I found my favourite in this performance. It followed a similar structure, but it was so unique. The fact that the Princess didn’t fall in love with the prince was a breath of fresh air. I also liked the fact that the gardener and the Princess were already in love. It can be sluggish sometimes if you watch two characters fall in love. My favourite part would be the fact that the evil queen died before the curse came true. It was the son who made sure that it happened, and I just found it so interesting. It was different. The story was in the gothic genre and as I have studied it, I loved watching what aspects of the gothic were in the performance. It was dark and eerie. You kept wondering what was going to happen next, even though you knew how it would end up.

Ballet is such a beautiful form of dance, each move had such grace and elegance to it. I could not take my eyes off of the performers. I liked how each character had a performance that was unique to them, so you could define between each of them. As ballet is silent, the performers had to express so many different emotions through their performances and they did not disappoint! You could feel the emotions they were feeling, especially the Queens when Sleeping Beauty was put to sleep. It was almost as if you could hear the words that they weren’t saying. They are all incredibly talented.

The set was simple and sweet. There was not too much on the stage at one time, but you still got the feeling of elegance within the castle, and you got the sense that this was a gothic love story. The costumes were just incredible! They were so detailed, and unique to everyone. Each Faery had a different costume so you knew which was which. They reflected the personalities of each character, which helped you understand more about the story and what was happening. They also reflected the gothic nature of the story and the fairytale elements.

I loved this production and it definitely has inspired me to go see more ballet. Whilst it was confusing to begin with, it wasn’t long until I understood what was going on. The different interpretations were really interesting to me as both a literature student and someone who loves going to the theatre. I was left speechless when it finished. I recommend people who love the story of sleeping beauty, ballet and theatre to go see it.

(Although I do recommend not taking someone under the age of 10 as there are parts which could be disturbing.)

Review Sleeping Beauty Wales Millennium Centre by Julie Owen-Moylan


We are so used to the Disney versions of our traditional fairytales that we forget they come from a dark place. Tales of babies being cursed at birth, young women being locked away or made to sleep for 100 years. I am, it has to be said not a natural lover of ballet. I sometimes find it a little sterile for my personal tastes, however there is something about Matthew Bourne’s productions that I absolutely adore.

The theatre is plunged into darkness, a crack of thunder sounds and the menacing outline of Carabosse appears, played superbly by Adam Maskell. This is a lavish production, a return to the gothic roots of this fairytale. Bourne takes us on a journey from 1890 ( the year this ballet was first performed) through to the present day. It’s a twisting turning adventure through a dark ride. From the birth of the baby Aurora and her subsequent spiriting away to an underworld where she sleeps for 100 years, everything is beautifully choreographed. There is not one wasted movement. The thing I particularly love about this production is that the stripping away of some of the traditional elements of ballet puts the dancer’s skills totally in the spotlight. I can see the muscular physicality of their movements, the sheer hard work of their effortlessness, the way they communicate with every single part of their bodies. It is a stunning feast of dance and the dancers themselves are superb. The title role is played with elegance and power by Ashley Shaw and having watched her on stage I can only be excited at the prospect of her taking the lead in Bourne’s next production The Red Shoes which will be coming to the Wales Millennium Centre in 2017. Ashley is more than ably supported by Dominic North as Leo and Christopher Marney as Count Lilac together with a cast of exquisite dancers.

This stunning production uses a lush opulent set design to convey a dark gothic Victorian age and an Edwardian garden party before thrusting us into a stark underworld and a sinister costume ball. The use of puppetry for the baby Aurora is a stroke of genius introducing some lighter notes of comedy at the beginning of the ballet before unleashing a duel between the fairy kingdoms with a vampire thrown in for good measure all swept along by Tchaikovsky’s score. The whole production is a wonderful spectacle returning the tale of Sleeping Beauty to the place it truly belongs.