Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – Sadlers Wells


If you know Matthew Bourne’s work you will know it is never traditional, but it is always authentic, passionate and oh so compelling

A review by Sammy Scribes

I was already feeling festive when I arrived at Sadlers Wells. The Christmas lights in the trees were magical and got me in the mood to be transported to a fairy-tale in a winter wonderland.

I was hooked from the first moment when the swan flew across the screen and invited me to accompany him on a journey.

Hats off to the costume designers, I love a bit of shiny and a bit of bling. The costumes were exquisite, amazing colours and detail which added depth and dynamism to the story. The palace scenes were dripping in opulence and grandeur. Magnificent!

The details of the woodland creatures’ costumes were spectacular, the moth maidens were vibrant, and the tree trolls were incredible, creepy and menacing.

The swans were malevolent and sinister, and the undertone of darkness and violence lurked beneath their graceful demeanour.

The set designs were just right, and the impeccable musicality of the orchestra provided the perfect blend to build the atmosphere and showcase each scene.

The cast were phenomenal, all the choreography was fantastic, and the dancers were fabulous. There were so many different dances styles and they were executed with absolute style and precision.


I particularly liked the dance in the Swanky club, it was very different to any style I have seen before. The Royal Ball was sensational, graceful and elegant. The duet between the prince and the swan was synchronised, both beautiful and haunting.

The main characters performed their hearts out. Dominic North’s portrayal of The Prince evoked feelings of repression, pathos and misery. He was desperately unhappy, wrestling internal turmoil and a fair amount of demons.

Katrina Lyndon portrayed The Queen as callous and cold towards The Prince but fun loving, warm and giving to any man who caught her eye and there are a few.

Will Bozier was brooding, sensuous and a little bit terrifying as The Swan / Stranger.

Carrie Willis stole the show as the gold-digger Girlfriend. She was funny, ditzy and undignified and such an amazing dancer. She was hilarious and clueless in front of royalty. I loved her personality and her outlandish outfits, the pink dress was brilliant, I want one.

Swan Lake was a triumph. I was immersed in the storytelling and the atmosphere brought it all to life.

The story was reminiscent of the 12 days of Christmas with plenty of ladies dancing, footmen a footing, swans a swimming. No partridge in a pear tree but much better and an electronic puppy on a lead. intrigued now? Go see it!