About The Show

Thrilling, audacious and totally original, Matthew Bourne's legendary production transforms one of ballet's best -loved stories into a stylish, witty, poignant, contemporary tale with extravagant, award-winning designs by Lez Brotherston.

Perhaps best-known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble, Matthew Bourne blends dance, style, humour, spectacle, character comedy and mime to create a provocative and powerful Swan Lake for our times.

Since its 9th November 1995 world premiere at Sadler’s Wells, Matthew Bourne’s breathtaking and sexy version of Swan Lake has become the longest running ballet in the London’s West End and on Broadway. It has enjoyed four successful tours in the UK and continues to thrill audiences throughout the world.

Originally written by Tchaikovsky in the late 19th century, SWAN LAKE was staged at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre in 1877, but it wasn’t until 18 years later - and after the death of its composer - that it was finally staged in St Petersburg, and became a universal classic.

This new, witty and surprising production has been designed to speak to a modern audience, to excite them, to move them.

Matthew Bourne’s SWAN LAKE has collected over thirty international theatre awards including three Tonys for the Broadway production and has been widely acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as a landmark production on the international stage.

As the director and choreographer for SWAN LAKE Matthew Bourne is the only British director to have won the Tony Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer of a Musical in the same year (1999).

For Matthew, SWAN LAKE had a particular appeal: "I could see an opportunity to create a human story, with the potential for great dramatic power and range, indulge my satirical and humorous leanings as well as create whole suites of abstract movement to some of the best dance music ever written. Irresistible!"

The most talked about innovation in this production is the casting of a male dancer in the coveted role of Odette/Odile known as "the Swan". "The idea of a male swan makes complete sense to me" says Matthew, "the strength, the beauty, the enormous wingspan of these creatures suggests to me the musculature of a male dancer more readily than a ballerina in her white tutu."

SWAN LAKE has gone through many different interpretations since its creation by Tchaikovsky. Matthew Bourne’s production retains two of the essentials that make SWAN LAKE so universally loved - Tchaikovsky’s great score and the story of our constant yearning for an unattainable ideal.