Matthew Bourne, two-time Tony winner for his direction and choreography of Swan Lake on Broadway in 1999, is to stage the world premiere of The Red Shoes, a new dance drama based on the 1948 film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale.
Produced by Bourne's company New Adventures, it will play Plymouth's Theatre Royal prior to an eight-week Christmas season at London's Sadler's Wells, beginning performances December 6 prior to an official opening December 14, for a run through January 29. It will subsequently tour the U.K.
Previously adapted as a short-lived Broadway musical that had music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Marsha Norman (who also wrote the book) and Paul Stryker that ran at the Gershwin Theatre in 1993, this version will feature music originally written for the film by Brian Easdale
The Red Shoes revolves around a girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance, but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. The role of Victoria Page will be created by Ashley Shaw, a principal dancer with New Adventures who is currently starring as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty on a U.K. tour. She has also previously starred in their productions of Nutcracker!, The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands and Cinderella. This will be her first created role in a new production.
In a press statement, Bourne commented, "It has been a long held ambition of mine to bring The Red Shoes to the stage as a dance/drama. It is set in the theatrical world of a touring dance company. It is actually about dance and dancers, a world that we all understand so well. However, the film's genius is to make that theatrical world at times surreal, larger than life and highly cinematic. My challenge will be to capture some of that surreal, sensuous quality within the more natural theatre setting. It has also long been an ambition of mine to bring the incomparable music of Bernard Herrmann to the stage. It has been fascinating to discover how much of this music lends itself to story-telling through dance and this production will, I believe, be the first full length ballet to celebrate his unique music."
The creative team will include Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound). The score is arranged by Terry Davies.
For full touring dates and to book tickets, visit new-adventures.net.