Review: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

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Review: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

As I walked into the Liverpool Empire to experience my first ever live production of Swan Lake, my fingers were crossed this new creation would live up to the 'hype' that has built up surrounding the show. 

Within the first fifteen minutes my expectations were exceeded and each act had me either laughing, crying or on the edge of my seat. 

Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake was first created in 1995 and is still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with an all-male ensemble. This, particularly at the time, shattered conventions and turned tradition upside down – taking the dance world by storm.

The dancing throughout the show was spectacular and not a move was wasted. The choreography was intelligent, conveying each emotion and unravelling the story perfectly. The dancers were strong and athletic which matched the iconic Tchaikovsky’s score wonderfully. 

The blend of moods the show evoked going from dark, tragic and menacing to elements of sass and humour – made for a real emotional rollercoaster of a ride. 

One of the most notable acts ‘The Prince’s Bedroom’ brought incredible energy and a force of intensity that had you holding your breath. The performance from the flock of sinister swans was incredibly macho as they stamped, kicked and hissed across the stage. 

For the duration of the show, each performer held their own and worked at a world-class standard. However, ‘The Girlfriend’ who was played by Freya Field stood out with her wonderful performance bringing some light comic relief which was crucial for such a powerful show. Another stand out performance came from Will Bozier who played the role of The Swan/The Stranger. He took command of the stage, and gave a performance which perfectly displayed his ‘split personality’ concept.

As the show came to the end the long-lasting standing ovation and cheers confirmed I was not alone in feeling such awe.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake runs at the Liverpool Empire 09 April - 13 April! 

Book your tickets HERE.

Image Credit: Johan Persson