Review: Scottish National Ballet - Swan Lake, Liverpool Empire - The Guide Liverpool

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Review: Scottish National Ballet – Swan Lake, Liverpool Empire


We like to mix it up here at The Guide Liverpool, so last night we took our seats at the Liverpool Empire for the Scottish National Ballet’s performance of David Dawson’s, Swan Lake.

And there wasn’t a feather or tutu in sight!

Billed as Swan Lake for a new generation the curtain went up and to reveal a guy in blazer, t shirt and what looked like skinny jeans, definitely not what we expected.

What followed in the opening scene was like a ballet version of the Run DMC Vs Jason Nevins video for ‘It’s Like That’, bursting with energy and a musical score that you could feel in your chest as the play got underway.

Swan Lake - Scottish Ballet - The Guide Liverpool

We took another cautionary glance at our tickets to make sure we were definitely in the right place, as the contemporary choreography brought this traditional tale into the 21st century.

The story of Swan Lake is about people, relationships, choices and love. This adaptation is still centred on tortured soul Siegfried, the enchanting Swan Queen Odette, and the temptress Odile, who seduces love-struck Siegfried in the second act.

We don’t want to tell you the whole plot, but the entire cast knocked our socks off with perfectly timed, modern ballet moves (including some slick Jerry Maguire-esque sliding across the stage…on point!) that made both the children and older audience members cheer!

The strength and agility displayed by each and every dancer was phenomenal (Sophie Martin’s ability to stand on point at tilted angles that defied gravity made us hold our breath!) and alongside fresh costume and simplistic, yet effective set design, we were seriously impressed.

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Having been performed around the world for almost 140 years Swan Lake is one of the all-time classical ballet’s yet last night’s performance felt brand new.

Huge congratulations to Sophie Martin (Odette/Odile) Christopher Harrison (Siegfried) and in particular Andrew Peasgood as Benno, who stunned us with his performance in the opening act.

The Scottish National Ballet, Swan Lake is on at The Empire Theatre until Saturday 4th June and we urge you to check out this fresh approach to a classic tale.

Go to for bookings and for more information.

By Kate James



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