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News: Matthew Bourne's New Adventures - The Red Shoes returns

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From an email today:  


The Red Shoes Returns

4 MARCH 2019

New Adventures is delighted to share that the national tour of The Red Shoes opens on Monday 18 November at Theatre Royal Plymouth and runs until Saturday 23 November, before visiting The Lowry, Salford, from Tuesday 26 November to Saturday 30 November; ahead of a seven-week Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells, London, from Tuesday 3 December to Sunday 19 January 2020. Further tour dates for 2020 and casting will be announced shortly.

A sell-out before its world premiere season opened in 2016, Matthew Bourne’s triumphant adaptation of the legendary film returns in 2019, having won two Olivier Awards and dazzled audiences across the UK and the USA.


The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions be- come a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.


The Observer

Set to the achingly romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, The Red Shoes is orchestrated by Terry Davies and played by the New Adventures Orchestra, with cinematic designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Groothuis and projection from Duncan McLean.

An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences; The Red Shoes will dazzle your senses and break your heart. 

Have a look back at what people said at our Gala Performance of The Red Shoes at Sadler's Wells in 2016:


Check back regularly as further tour dates are still to be announced:  


The Red Shoes
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Wonder if in London Bourne will bring in 'stars' from the ballet world as he did in NYC with Sara Mearns and Marcello Gomes.  Probably not.  His home critical profile is high whereas in New York (in terms merely of his choreographic prowess) it is somewhat mixed.  The Manhattan presenters may have demanded such - whereas I'm sure there would be no such requests at Sadler's Wells.  He is, after all, an Associate Artist and the UK sales figures themselves would rightly deem such unnecessary.  Still Gomes does have a Company profile with SL (Tokyo), Car Man (London) and now Shoes (NYC) and is, of course, now freelance. 


Edited by Bruce Wall
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  • 6 months later...
On 04/03/2019 at 17:51, Lizbie1 said:

I'm still trying to find my way with New Adventures - is this more likely to appeal to a mainly-ballet-fan than Swan Lake (which I was underwhelmed with)?


A bit of a late reply but having only seen the two Bourne productions you mention, The Red Shoes and Swan Lake, my answer would be perhaps, but not necessarily. 


Between the two, I think the Red Shoes has more 'pure' dance and has less pantomime type scenes which are designed to be funny/satirical (and which some of the audience love and find hilarious, but I find quite cheap). 


I would say that both productions are not ballets (which is perhaps stating the obvious but I made the mistake of thinking they were, as I was not overly familiar with Bourne and both works are based on ballet, with the Red Shoes especially featuring an ad of the main character en pointe). The Red Shoes is probably more ballet style as there is some dancing on pointe. The majority of dancers do not have then classical ballet skill that you may be used to seeing to RB/ENB etc, however the choreography does work well and play to their strengths but left me feeling underwhelmed. 


I was personally disappointed by both productions, I appreciate what Bourne is trying to do but it's just not for me. I am glad to have seen both but neither made me want to see future works of Bourne, or see either of the shows again (with a very very small exception of perhaps Swan Lake perhaps if Ball danced it again, as I booked to see him but then unfortunately he wasn't able to dance that evening due to injury). I respect what Bourne is trying to do and clearly lots of people love his work, but it's not my thing. 


If you were underwhelmed with Swan Lake you may prefer this, and I would encourage you to book if you are curious as despite my comments above I did enjoy the interpretation, even if it wasn't my thing. In my opinion it is very much contemporary dance inspired by ballet, not 'pure' ballet (whatever that may mean!). However if you didn't enjoy Swan Lake I personally wouldn't expect to enjoy this much more - but of course you may feel differently.  I think if you are able to detach it from 'classical' ballet or the type of thing you may see at ROH you may enjoy it more, but if you are expecting a RB/ENB/BRB type production you may be disappointed. 

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I have personally found myself underwelmed with most of Matthew Bourne's productions I have seen (not very many as I tend to avoid them). The exception was the triple bill of his earlier works that I saw in Blackpool last year which I thought was very  inventive and which I enjoyed far more than his full length works. However, I was considering going to see the Red Shoes at the Lowry, partly to see Adam Cooper and partly because of the music score as the Red Shoes score is my husband's favourite music score. The casting link above doesn't refer to specific performances. Is Adam dancing the role of Boris Lermontov in every performance?

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I have just booked to see this when it comes to the Marlowe in Canterbury in Easter week. I saw it previously during its first Sadlers Wells run and enjoyed it enough to give it another go. So far I have avoided the Swan Lake because I am such a devotee of the classical ballet that I am not sure how much I would really like it. But in my view the Red Shoes film is better source material for a show like this. 
After I booked, a trailer for the show appeared on my Facebook feed which amused me since it was a group of celebs effectively describing the Red Shoes as ballet,  ‘but don’t worry folks, it’s still good’.  An odd way to promote it, in my view! 
I notice also that the cinema showing will include Adam Cooper in the cast, so I will definitely try to see that. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was glad to spot an ad in the Evening Standard the other day for performances at the New Wimbledon Theatre next week - I had a distinctly restricted view when I saw it at Sadler's Wells.  It mentioned another set of dates as well, which might have been High Wycombe.

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