Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells

Sadler's Wells Theatre, London

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Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells Christmas 2015.

Matthew Bourne’s re-imagining of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty is to return to Sadler’s Wells this Christmas. The haunting new scenario is a gothic tale for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder.  Sleeping Beauty completed Matthew Bourne’s trio of re-imagined Tchaikovsky ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake.

Sleeping Beauty will play an eight week Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells from 1 December 2015 to 24 January 2016.


Perrault’s timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years, was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, in the year of the ballet’s first performance; the height of the Fin-de-Siecle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forwards in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long Summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious than any Fairy story!

Matthew Bourne’s new scenario introduced several characters not seen in Petipa’s famous Ballet or Grimm’s fairy tale. This imaginary kingdom is ruled over by King Benedict and Queen Eleanor. Princess Aurora’s romantic interest is not a Prince, but the royal gamekeeper, Leo. Representing the central forces of good and evil are Count Lilac (“the King of the Fairies”) and the Dark Fairy Carabosse. Bourne has also created the character of Caradoc, the sinister but charming son of Carabosse. Princess Aurora’s Fairy Godparents are characterised by their names – Ardor, Hibernia, Autumnus, Feral and Tantrum.


Ashley Shaw and Cordelia Braithwaite will play Aurora, Dominic North and Chris Trenfield will play Leo, Christopher Marney and Liam Mower will play Count Lilac, Adam Maskell and Tom Clark will share the twin role of Carabosse and Caradoc
King Benedict will be played by Will Bozier, Glenn Graham and Chris Trenfield and Queen Eleanor by Pia Driver, Nicole Kabera and Katie Webb.
Completing the SLEEPING BEAUTY Company are: Daniel Collins, Jack Jones, Mari Kamata, Phil King, Dominic Lamb, Dena Lague, Katy Lowenhoff, Katrina Lyndon, Kate Lyons, Andrew Monaghan, Leon Moran and Danny Reubens.


Coming soon

Additional Information

Performance dates
Booking to 24 January 2016
Special notes
Age Restrictions: No under 5s admitted. Some scenes may be unsuitable for younger children (with the gothic, vampire theme, it is possible that some scenes may be a bit dark or scary for them).

Venue Information

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN
Nearest Tube or Train: Angel (Northern line)
Nearest Buses: 19, 38, 341, 171a

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