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Swan Lake Feb 2000

Wednesday, 09 February, 2000

There are three performers who alternate playing the part of 'The Swan', Adam Cooper, Simon Cooper and Will Kemp, and there are 4 performers alternating the part of 'The Prince', Scott Ambler, Alastair Marriott, Tom Ward and Ben Wright. Performing the parts this evening were Will Kemp and Ben Wright, which is interesting because I saw these two play the same parts when I first saw the show at the Piccadilly Theatre. I can report that both are as confidence and energetic as before with perfect timing. I have to admit though to being a little disappointed that I did not see someone different in the roles for some comparison.

The show is brilliantly directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne who has managed to create an original dance production that is both exciting and moving, with an element of comedy. I am not a great ballet fan myself, but it is very hard to describe the show as ballet, as it is much more! There may be some traditionalists who do not like the show. The tale of the spell-bound princess Odette - who can only be saved by the love of Prince Siegfried - and the black swan, Odile is given a gender twist as it is performed with all male swans. The production centres on a young prince who has a miserable childhood rejected by his mother. His new 'common' girlfriend is an embarrassment and he continues to become more depressed. He gives up all hope for happiness and decides on suicide, but before jumping into the lake he meets the Swan that represents to him his dreams of warmth, love, power and strength.

With the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky, and orchestrations by Rowland Lee, and the incredible choreography and imagination of Matthew Bourne this is a truly original and exciting dance production.

(Darren Dalglish)

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