Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Swans Fly North to Mark Birthday; Matthew Bourne's Most Famous Work - His Take on Swan Lake - Returns to Newcastle This Spring after a Decade Away. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR Chats to the Man, Who Is 50 Today

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Swans Fly North to Mark Birthday; Matthew Bourne's Most Famous Work - His Take on Swan Lake - Returns to Newcastle This Spring after a Decade Away. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR Chats to the Man, Who Is 50 Today

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

DANCE supremo Matthew Bourne is spending his 50th birthday today watching his own, and much lauded, interpretation of Swan Lake.

He'll be hosting a drinks soiree after the show at Sadler's Wells in London, where it has been revived over the festive season.

North East fans of the work need not feel left out, though. Swan Lake is making something of a triumphant return to the Theatre Royal this spring, 11 years after his version - which features a male swan in the leading role - last played there.

It also marks a first for Matthew's New Adventures company - none of his productions have played a two-week run in the UK outside of London before. Swan Lake will be here from March 16 to 27.

"Newcastle is the first place for that to happen, which shows the trust and belief in the piece the theatre has," says Matthew.

"That has never happened before in any theatre in this country. It is a rarity."

Swan Lake was premiered back in 1995 and hit the headlines because of its male swans.

It has been revived several times over the years, but Matthew seems happiest with this latest reincarnation.

"Apparently it has had rave reviews, but I haven't read them," he laughs.

"It always amazes me how popular it is each time we bring it back. Each time we bring it back there seems to be a whole bunch of people who have not seen it, who have heard about it from a friend.

"It has gone beyond that dance audience. You get an audience of people who are coming to see Swan Lake for the first time - even dance for the first time, and that is a massive audience.

"What we've been experiencing in Sadler's Wells is 60 to 70% have not been there before.

"Over the years I have worked on it quite a lot and changed it each time I've done it and hopefully improved it. …

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