Nina, in particular, was so excited when we heard that Sir Matthew Bourne’s Production of The Red Shoes was coming to Bristol Hippodrome.
The double Olivier award-winning show is based on the 1948 film which tells the story of Victoria Page, a young ballerina torn between her art and her romance with a young composer.
To summarise this evening of ballet in a few words; it is absolutely breathtaking.
The cinematic references are strong; it really is like you’re watching a great Hollywood movie.
And the set is a massive star in its own right.
At its centre is a giant theatre curtain which rotates throughout the show depending on whether we’re watching a ballet performance on stage or the goings-on backstage.
I particularly enjoyed the backstage stuff. We regularly go to the cinema to see operas live-streamed from the Metropolitan in New York and it’s always wonderful to see the behind the scenes activity in the intervals. That spirit is captured perfectly by The Red Shoes.
During a scene towards the end of the production when Victoria dances in her bedroom, I glanced at Nina and she had actual tears in her eyes. It really is that emotive.
The costume changes are plentiful and the outfits are stunning. We are transported to several locations – from London to Paris to Monte Carlo – which is communicated nicely by protection on to the set.
There’s no weak link in this show, an incredibly accessible ballet that’s far from stuffy, although we must mention Cordelia Braithwaite and Michela Meazza who shine as Victoria Page and Irina Boronskaya, the prima ballerina.
For a show with no words, a rich story is told. We urge you to go and see it immediately.
Matthew Bourne’s Production of The Red Shoes is at Bristol Hippodrome until 7 March 2020.