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Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty


Cursed by a wicked fairy, a beautiful princess pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep that can only be broken by true love’s kiss.

The Sleeping Beauty has been delighting audiences for well over a hundred years, sprinkling ballet magic on this favourite childhood story and its cast of familiar characters. And all wrapped up with sparkling virtuoso dance from BRB’s brilliant dancers, fairy-tale characters, dazzling spectacle, and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music played live by the acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

BRB’s beautiful production was created by Sir Peter Wright, the genius behind the Company’s famous The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

An enchanting experience for all the family. Book early to secure the best seats!


Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty ON TOUR

Our review on Birmingham Royal Ballet - The Sleeping Beauty

Birmingham Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty - The Lowry, Salford - Thursday 7th March 2024 by Lizzie Johnston

Our Rating

The Sleeping Beauty
was my favourite fairytale growing up, in fact I’d say I was pretty obsessed with it. I was hooked on the magic and wonder of the story, playing the video of the Disney version on repeat. As soon as I heard Birmingham Royal Ballet were returning to The Lowry with a production of The Sleeping Beauty, I put it straight in my diary and knew I had to go. Last year I reviewed the company’s production of Swan Lake, and I still rave about how magnificent it was, so I was extremely excited to get to enjoy this talented company once again. 

The Sleeping Beauty is a fairytale of love, magic and wonder that sees a young princess cursed by a wicked fairy. On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Aurora pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep for 100 years, a curse that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. It’s a childhood favourite with a cast of familiar characters, making this a ballet to be enjoyed by all the family. 

The performance is a traditional ballet, split into four acts with each being a key moment to the story. The stunning choreography by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Peter Wright entrances you during each of these moments, from the christening to the wedding. Ballets can feel like a different theatre experience than plays or musicals, however the way this production was crafted makes it easy to follow so the storyline was never dropped, meaning The Sleeping Beauty is a great ballet for anyone who has been before. 

As soon as the curtain dropped, we were instantly transported to a grand ballroom, with opulent costumes to match as the cast poured onto the stage. The blend of the lavish costumes from the fairies to the couriters, brought the childhood favourite to life on stage, with lace and sequins that any young ballerina would dream of wearing. The design paired together with Tchaikovsky’s charming score is beautiful and enchanting, particularly as I noticed the memorable tune of Disney’s ‘Once Upon A Dream’ from the animated film within the score - an instant goosebumps moment. 

The whole audience was captivated by the elegance and magic of the show, including the set design which transitioned from the grand ballroom into a vine covered chamber hidden deep in the forest. The way this was created was truly magical, with Ellis Small’s (Cinderella, Don Quixote, Giselle) The Lilac Fairy effortlessly floating between the vines.

As The Lilac Fairy, Small’s soft and elegant movements provided a great contrast to Daria Stanciulescu’s (Cinderella, Quixote, Romeo and Juliet) The Fairy Carabosse, constantly showing the battle between the good and evil fairies. Stanciulescu demanded the stage as soon as she entered, completely changing the atmosphere with her powerful and sharp moves. 

Princess Aurora was every ounce of and beauty you’d expect as Momoko Hirata (Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake) graced the stage with true princess qualities. As a performer, Hirata is mesmerising and utterly stunning, she’s a real talent and it was a delight to see her dance again. As Princess Aurora, Hirata is young and full of life, which gives the story great irony considering the curse she is under. Once she meets the Prince, Aurora becomes completely encapsulated by him, with Hirata and Max Maslen (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Swan Lake), Prince Florimund, performing the extraordinary pas de deux. Together, they are the epitome of a fairytale with beautiful and undeniable chemistry.

I couldn’t recommend a fairytale ballet enough, particularly one performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet. The company is exquisite, graceful and deliver a mesmerising performance every time. The Sleeping Beauty has breathtaking choreography and stirring music, casting its spell on the audience to leave them spellbound long after the final curtain falls. Our night at the ballet was a truly magical experience, reminding the audience of the enduring power that classical ballet has and its ability to enchant and inspire. 


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