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Prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet to perform Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty at Southampton Mayflower Theatre next month





THE prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet will perform Sir Peter Wright’s sumptuous staging of The Sleeping Beauty at Southampton Mayflower Theatre next month.

Now in its 40th anniversary year, the production will open its UK tour on Thursday 8th February and continue until Saturday 10th.

It follows on from last year’s UK tour of Sir Peter Wright’s Swan Lake – which was Birmingham Royal Ballet’s most successful spring tour to date, having been seen by over 53,000 people.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)
Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, who was a principal with Royal Ballet for nearly 20 years before retiring from the company in 2007, has some tips for the Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers ahead of their tour.

She said: “Sleeping Beauty is the ballet in which everything comes together. It’s the most extraordinary score and the choreography really challenges every generation that comes to it.

“It also uses the skills of the entire company, so for any big classical company it really highlights their talents.”

She continued: “And with Sir Peter Wright’s Sleeping Beauty, the sets and the design are so beautiful – it really is spectacular from the moment the curtain goes up.

“It has such energy that there’s never a dull moment. All the characters are incredibly strong and they all have a part to play and I think Sir Peter keeps that story thread from the beginning to the very end.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)
Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)

Darcey began her professional dancing career in 1987 under the directorship of Sir Peter at Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, which became Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1990.

By the time SWRB and Sir Peter moved to Birmingham, Darcey had moved to the Royal Ballet based at Covent Garden, but she has fond memories of working with Sir Peter.

Last seen on UK stages over six years ago, The Sleeping Beauty continues Birmingham Royal Ballet’s legacy of presenting the acclaimed heritage classics and celebrating the beloved work of its founder. The Sleeping Beauty is the fourth of Sir Peter Wright’s productions to be presented by the company since autumn 2022, following Coppélia, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

The acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia performs Tchaikovsky’s glorious score live, with designs by Philip Prowse and lighting design by Mark Jonathan.

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)
Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sleeping Beauty (picture: Bill Cooper / Dasa Wharton)

Sir Peter Wright said: “I find it hard to believe that this tour marks the 40th anniversary of The Sleeping Beauty.

“This has always been the most opulent of ballets, but Philip Prowse’s incredible design created a unique fairy tale world with almost 30 fairy character tutus alone that allows dancers to really inhabit some of classical ballet’s most famous roles.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta said: “I am thrilled to be reviving Sir Peter Wright’s production of The Sleeping Beauty. The company is excited to be delighting audiences once more with this definitive version of one of the great classical ballets, welcoming people of all ages to our performances throughout the UK.”

Tickets cost between £12 and £49.50. To book, call 02380 711811 or visit www.mayflower.org.uk



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