Coming from Matthew Bourne's stable, though, don't expect the traditional sweetness and light tale of the cursed princess who is freed by the handsome prince and all live happily ever after having defeated the forces of evil – the subtitle of the work, A Gothic Romance, should give you a clue that this is a fairy tale with a difference.
Bourne keeps Tchaikovsky's much-loved score, and the bare bones of the story: there is a regal court, a beautiful princess, fairies – albeit sui generis ones – a curse, and love, of course.
However, Bourne instils a sinister element into his version of the story, so that his supernatural beings are not confined to fairies; vampires have a central role in developments, deftly subverting Aurora's quest for true love.
Matthew Bourne's excellent New Adventures company brings the story to vibrant life, with some company veterans returning to the main roles, among them the luminous Ashley Shaw (pictured top), who will lead the first cast as Aurora.
Sumptuous designs are by Bourne's regular collaborator Les Brotherston, with lighting design by Paule Constable and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
In short, Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty is definitely a special treat; and if you're tempted remember: early booking is essential.
|What||Matthew Bourne, Sleeping Beauty, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
29 Nov 22 – 15 Jan 23, 19:30 Sat mats at 14:30; Suns at 14:00 & 19:00. Dark 25, 26, 27 Dec. Dur.: 2 hours inc one interval
|Price||£15-£95 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|