Wednesday, 14 December 2016

REVIEW: Dick Whittington at MK Theatre

Dick Whittington at Milton Keynes Theatre

13th December 2016


A truly mad old English tradition – the Pantomime!  A noun described in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘An absurdly exaggerated piece of behaviour’, well that’s exactly what you can expect from this year’s panto at Milton Keynes theatre and it was fabulous.

From dazzling costumes to vibrant stage sets that changed from scene to scene, audience participation to topical jokes, it was great fun all round.

This year we saw Stacey Solomon as Fairy Bowbells and Samantha Womack as Queen Rat, good versus evil to keep the audience in peril with a sprinkling of hope for dear Dick and his friends. Kev Orkian starred as Idle Jack, a narrator, entertainer, joker, story-teller, funny-man – he did great at involving us all in the show. Kevin Brewis, Chris Jenkins, Hannah Ponting, Marc Pickering, Shane Knight and Sophie Hart completed the ensemble and we could see and feel how much fun they were having playing their parts – which made it all the more enjoyable to watch.

Although everybody’s performance was flawless, right down to Tommy the cat and the swarms of rats, my absolute favourite character of them all was Sarah The Cook. Played by Kevin Brewis, this year’s Dame was truly outrageous with quintessential, flamboyant costumes, colourful make-up and witty, sassy lines.

The show takes you with Dick on his journey from rags to riches, meeting his friends and foes along the way. Mix a timeless story with topical references, some musical hits and even a surprise immersive underwater adventure – it’s Christmas entertainment at it’s best for all the family.

Book Tickets now! Dick Whittington is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 15th January 2017. 
To book tickets go to:

Thursday, 24 November 2016

REVIEW: ENB The Nutcracker at MK Theatre

The Nutcracker, Milton Keynes Theatre, 23rd November 2016.

 This was a most wonderful and enjoyable evening:- from the excellent music by Tchaikovsky, with pieces that we are all familiar with. To the terrific dancers who filled the stage with delight, there were times when there was so much happening it was difficult to take all of this wonderful action in.

The theatre too did it's part, last week we sat in the front of the stalls, this week the first few rows had been removed and the orchestra pit had appeared, it was filled with a marvelous full orchestra including two harps and a children choir.

The stage sets are very imaginative, with an ice skating scene which looks quite realistic and suitably chilly. The story develops from a simple bedroom scene through to a full Christmas party, the escape balloon lifting up into the gods and then the garden scene.

The performers and dancers were excellent, interpreting the music with great grace, enthusiasm and elegance.

It was a truly magical evening, one we would like to see again.

Our thanks to everyone involved.

The Nutcracker runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from 24th – 26th November. Tickets from

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

REVIEW: Relatively Speaking at MK Theatre

Relatively Speaking by Alan Ayckbourn

Milton Keynes Theatre, Monday 14th November 2016.



This was a most enjoyable performance from beginning to end, with just four players, the story funnily portrays misinterpretation, based on the assumption of facts that are not quite as they seem to the four characters. Particularly to the young man Greg, who is unaware of the complicated romantic history of his new girl friend Ginny and the people he thinks are her parents.

We are introduced to the young couple in a dodgy London bedsit, before moving to a comfortable detached house in South Buckinghamshire commuter belt of the early 1960's, where the story and the situation unfolds most cleverly.

The dialogue is clearly presented with just the right amount of pauses to allow the audience to laugh, but to also keep a smooth flow in the performance.
However this is what you would expect from such experienced actors as Robert Powell and Lisa Goddard, but they are more than ably supported by Lindsey Campbell and Antony Eden as the young couple.

The two sets excellently show a scruffy bedsit in London and then the detached property in Buckinghamshire ,with lots on means for the characters to enter and exit the performing area.

The audience all seemed to enjoy the humour and performances of the play, they also found great interest in the "home counties map" that hung as a curtain before the two acts.
The map was pre-motorway so showed a different England than you would see today for road and rail routes.

The play was first known as “Know My Father” in 1965, but soon became Relatively Speaking when it was presented in London in 1967.

Relatively Speaking is running at MK Theatre until Saturday 19th November. Tickets are available from

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

REVIEW: The Commitments at MK Theatre

Review of The Commitments at MK Theatre


The story is simple; a Dublin producer has to get a group of amateur musicians together to make a band. And like all good bands they have some rocky times where they argue like mad and in an Irish sort of way.
It all adds up to some rocking good music with plenty of soul. The songs are all familiar and our favourites from back in the day. Songs like River Deep, Mountain High, Mustang Sally and I Heard it Through the Grapevine are all interweaved effortlessly through the story, which by the way had plenty of laughs.
Although this was a musical it thankfully didn’t have lots of dance routines just some straightforward good songs with a little bit of choreography where necessary. The stage was simple but effective. The cast had some amazing singers but none more so than Brian Gilligan who played the lead role of Deco. What a star! We will surely be seeing more of him in the future. Other notable performances were from Amy Penston who played Natalie who was the best female lead singer in the show. Andrew Linnie who played Jimmy was adorable and in many ways held the show together. The token famous person was Kevin Kennedy (of Curly Watts fame) who is spending more time in musical theatre but taking the more elderly roles!
This is one of the best musicals around so don't miss it.
It's on at MK Theatre until Saturday 5th November.
Tickets from the box office 0844 871 7652 Booking fees apply.    Booking fees apply.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

REVIEW: Cats at MK Theatre

Review of Cats at Milton Keynes Theatre


Funnily enough Cats is a musical that I had bypassed all these years since the first showing in 1981 so it was about time I went to see what all the fuss was about. Well what a performance – a true example of excellent musical theatre. The enduring musical Cats written by Andrew Lloyd Weber has had a bit of a makeover in recent years. The story hinges on the lives of different character cats living on a dumpster. It`s quite a complicated and intricate set all adding to the atmosphere on the stage.
There are lots of big set dances with the very large cast and a range of different music and dance styles from jazz to ballet. The cast were athletic and gymnastic in their dance skills. As we got to know the individual cats then it was the solo pieces that the audience liked and recognised the most. Grizabella, the old decrepit cat played by Marianne Benedict performed the song Memory at least twice, well why not, it`s so good!
The cats came into the audience on many occasions and that was an excellent way to involve the theatre goers and to marvel at the intricate detail of the makeup and costumes. They were superb!
The show is all about the visuals and not the story and more of a variety show for cats which is probably why it`s called Cats!
There is still time to catch Cats at MK Theatre. It’s on till Saturday 29th October.
Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Footloose: The Musical

Everybody cut loose! Footloose! What a fab musical, I absolutely loved it.

The story starts with Ren and his mum moving away from trendy Chicago to the small and old-fashioned town known as Bomont. A town where dancing is illegal and we follow Ren and his friends as they challenge this law; wanting to express themselves in the art of music and dance.

They've done a great job of developing the classic 80’s movie into an actor-musician show. The cast is incredibly talented and very entertaining to watch. They are acting, singing, playing instruments and dancing at the same time – I was mesmerised from the first scene to the last and there are some great comedy moments too, especially from Willard, played by Gareth Gates. He’s a really funny character – he engaged the audience well with his comical faces and actions directed towards us and his silly jokes got a good giggle.

Luke Baker and Hannah Price played the rebel lovebirds Ren McCormack and the reverend’s daughter Ariel Moore. They were both brilliant and I particularly liked Rusty and Willards relationship too (Gareth and Joanna Sawyer) which was awkward but lovely! With 80’s classics like Footloose, Holding Out For A Hero and Let’s Hear It For The Boy, you can’t help but tap your feet and sing along.

Hats off to all the creatives from the fantastic choreography to the lighting and stage sets (which were far from simple) and one of the best sets I’ve seen from a touring theatre show, you can see the amount of effort, time and detail that went into creating it.

Without giving too much away, the ending has all the audience on their feet clapping, dancing and cheering so we left buzzing.

Footloose the Musical is running this week at MK Theatre from Monday 17th – Saturday 22nd October. Tickets from

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Full Monty at MK Theatre

Based on the 1997 smash hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar winning writer Simon Beaufoy, this was a funny and heartfelt production. This is Simon’s first time writing for the stage and he did a great job at capturing the same hardships and comedy from the original movie. Based in Sheffield and not known for their airs and graces, the working class men speak bluntly and honestly with their strong Sheffield accents. 

Unpretentious, kind of grey, a little bit miserable yet funny and heart warming at the same time, the play takes you through their journey from the closure of the steel works, their struggles to find work, the fear of losing their loved ones; to the nonsensical idea of becoming male strippers to make some fast cash. 

As the men start to get their heads around the idea, they work through their own inhibitions of body image and what people will think, bringing together some unlikely friendships in the process.

The cast were brilliant and you really felt their troubles and accomplishments with some great humour thrown in, rude jokes, blunt insults and cheekiness - the audience reacted really well to this play. At times, I felt the play was moving quite slowly with a few long scenes that could perhaps have been shorter, or funnier, however they were necessary to tell the story.

A special mention to Reiss Ward who played Gaz’s son Nathan – this was his first time performing in front of a live audience. He was a natural; a brilliant young actor at only 12 years old! He’s going to have a fantastic career if he keeps this up – well done Reiss!!

The stage set really brought the audience into the bleak atmosphere of the closed down steel factory and worked well as the setting for all the scenes – with some clever change of mood lighting and background music, the design team effectively took you from one scene to the next.

Overall, this was great show and I would definitely recommend it.

Running from: Monday 3rd – Saturday 8th October
Box office: 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

REVIEW: Sister Act at MK Theatre

Sister Act at Milton Keynes Theatre


Starring X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, this Broadway and West End musicial has finally come to Milton Keynes. Alexandra has come a long way from her X-Factor days, and gave a brilliant performance throughout. Set in the late 70s, the show was full of disco and motown songs which Alexandra performed effortlessly, her rich voice filling the auditorium with soul and funk.

Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, this is musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg. It followed the original story, however none of the original songs from the film featured in the stage version. This didn’t detract from the performances though.

The set was well executed. The convent was a gothic style church interior with tall arches that doubled as a tacky nightclub with a clever tweak of the lighting. The big finale (without giving too much away) was also very impressive, which goes to show that a lot of thought has been put into the stage design.

The rest of the cast also performed well. A particular highlight was the characters playing the musical instruments on stage as part of their character. This added a whole new dimension to the show and made the music of the show really come alive. A slight hiccup when one of the characters’ microphones failed, but he soldiered on through. We were close enough to hear him without the microphone, however this could have caused problems for the people at the back.

My only negative was when the sisters were eating Christmas dinner. I understand that at this point in the show, they hadn’t had any musical advice from Deloris Van Cartier (Burke), however their screachy singing was a bit hard to understand.

Sister Act runs at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 1st October.
Box office: 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

REVIEW: Breakfast at Tiffany's at MK Theatre

Breakfast at Tiffany's at Milton Keynes Theatre

Firstly a hands up moment, we have not seen the iconic film with Audrey Hepburn, but felt that this would give us an unbiased view on the night’s performance, however we were aware of the story's content.
Sadly we were disappointed with the performances, especially having looked forward to at last seeing this play. 

Apart from Holly`s husband "Doc" who you could clearly understand, it consisted of a lot of mostly shouted dialogue, in rather poor shrill American accents, this was especially bad when several characters were talking at the same time or closely together and their words over-laid one another and it all got a bit confused.

The theatre is blessed with an excellent p.a. system and voices carry very well without the need to over act them. In fact over acting was probably a major problem with the whole performance, there was no great depth of characterisation involved and we didn`t feel much empathy towards them.

This managed to confuse any of the subtleties of the humour in the script and any nuances of emotion even in the sad hospital scene where she has miscarried her unborn baby.
We have watched Georgia May on Strictly Come Dancing and know she is a talented performer, similarly Matt in Downton Abbey so this again was a disappointment.

The stage sets were imaginative, and it has to be said that the cat was good too.
To summaries if the dialogue was taken at a slower pace and with less shouting we are sure this would improve theatre goers pleasure, hopefully this will happen as the actors settle more in to their roles.

The show is on until Saturday 25th September.
Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

REVIEW: Keep Dancing at MK Theatre

Keep Dancing at Milton Keynes Theatre


For those of us who love Strictly (and who doesn’t?) then it’s great to bring elements of the show to your local theatre. There are many spin offs from Strictly which bring the atmosphere of the dance in real life rather than watching it on television. However some spin offs work better than others! 

This particular show features the talents of Jay McGuiness and Aliona Valani, so definitely some eye candy for everybody. Certainly Jay is top of the amateur dancing tree but I can’t help but wonder if Jay was out of his depth in this show.

Really the best performances are from the professionals. Strictly favourite, Robin Windsor was really the star of the show along with Anya Garnis and the other professional dancers to make it an extravaganza of music and song.

Unusually there was no story to loosely wrap the singing and dancing around nor was there any attempt at keeping to a particular theme. This made the show more of a variety event showcasing different styles of music and dancing. Fans of Latin and ballroom will be impressed but the audience also loved the more modern and innovative dances. The dancing is certainly full on from start to finish with some of the best choreography in this genre on stage at the moment. There also couldn’t be a Strictly-type show without the marvellous costumes where sequins are the order of the day. So it’s not too late to get off the couch and experience the magic of dance right here in Milton Keynes.

The show runs until Saturday 10th September.

Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

REVIEW: Sunny Afternoon at MK Theatre

Sunny Afternoon at MK Theatre

 This sensational smash hit West End musical has finally come to Milton Keynes! Winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, this is a fantastic feel-good musical with brilliant storytelling and acting. It follows the ups and down fortunes of The Kinks, and explains how they rose to eventual stardom through some very stormy waters.

The music of Ray Davies was carefully crafted throughout the story. The musical is full- on loud at times as they reenact scenes from their heyday to the most gentle renditions of heartfelt songs that took your breath away with the emotion and pathos of it all. They say Ray Davies wrote from his experiences in life so there was nothing contrived about how the songs were interwoven through the show. It really was a step into the past for the audience and for those of us who were there and who remember the sixties! Do you remember when the Kinks first played on Top of the Pops and their American tour? It’s all here on stage in MK!

The singing in this performance is brilliant, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed hearing all the iconic hits, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Lola, All Day and All of the Night, and many more! It`s easy to forget how talented Ray Davies was and actually what a prolific song writer he was.

If you are a Kinks fan then this is a show not to be missed.
There is still time to catch it.

Running from: Tuesday 30th August – Saturday 3rd September
Box office: 0844 871 7652

Monday, 8 August 2016

REVIEW: Stage Experience: Fame the Musical at MK Theatre

 Stage Experience: Fame the Musical – Review

Milton Keynes Theatre’s popular youth musical theatre project, Stage Experience, has returned in the form of Fame the Musical! This brilliant production follows the story of students at New York City’s famous High School for the Performing Arts, and the 100-strong young cast gave a fantastic, confident performance.

With well-known, feel-good classic tracks, such as ‘Fame’, the audience really enjoyed the performance.

One part that really stood out for me was when Serena Katz played by Mille Burlace sung her solo. She came across as confident and accomplished.

The costumes were also brilliant, with the theatre group looking very enthusiastic and happy to be performing. The set was relatively simple but this worked well as it didn’t overshadow the fantastic acting and singing from the youth theatre cast.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

REVIEW: Rocky Horror Show at MK Theatre

The Rocky Horror Show at MK Theatre

Any production that ends with a full audience standing ovation – clapping, cheering and dancing – is not to be missed! Since June ‘73, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock N’ Roll musical. It has now been performed worldwide for over 40 years in over 30 countries, and translated into more than 20 languages with a huge cult following.

The cast is a fantastic mix with the likes of X Factor finalist, Diana Vickers, in the role of Janet Weiss; S Club 7 star, Paul Cattermole, playing the role of Eddie and Dr. Scott; The Voice star Liam Tamne in the iconic role of Frank N Furter; and TV’s Norman Pace as the narrator. Also, following his huge success in over 900 performances of the 40th Anniversary Global Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Kristian Lavercombe returns as Riff Raff!

This musical extravaganza features all the famous tracks, including Dammit Janet and The Time-Warp and the production still continues to break box office records worldwide.

The audience engagement is like no other you will experience – men and women dressed in brilliant costumes of corsets, fishnets and feather boas. With witty jeers from the audience, dancing and even some with props, you feel part of the show. The musical is a tale of two college kids, Brad and Janet, who meet Dr Frank N Furter when their car breaks down. They go on to have a very extravagant and risqué adventure full to the brim with timeless songs, over the top costumes, hilarious moments and amazing singing! The stage design and costumes are fantastic bringing the timeless classic to life with modern twists. Great work from the orchestra which you can see situated above the stage – this was a nice touch to bring them into the show and a big shout out to MK Theatre staff – they dressed the part and made the evening an unforgettable experience.

Be warned… There are some rude parts too!

Running from: Monday 25th – Saturday 30th July
Box office: 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

REVIEW: Guys and Dolls at MK Theatre

Guys and Dolls at Milton Keynes Theatre


Guys and Dolls first premiered on Broadway in 1950 and captured the optimism and energy of post-WWII America.This show set in the 1950’s will appeal mostly to an older audience. 

Featuring some of Broadway’s greatest songs including Luck Be A Lady and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, it’s a fun, feel-good show with an all-star cast including Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders and Call the Midwife), Maxwell Caulfield (Emmerdale, Casualty and Grease 2), Louise Dearman (Wicked) and Anna O’Bryne (Love Never Dies), this was a fantastic production.

The costumes were realistic and reflected the era well, as did the dancing, which was very well choreographed. The set was sumptuous and atmospheric particularly during the Havana scene where the rhumba was the order of the day.

The show has a large cast of talented dancers and singers with the most amazing buzzing energy to be seen on stage. It's a dazzling show that it would be a shame to miss.

Tickets still available.
Running from: Tue 14th – Sat 18th June
Tickets: visit or call 0844 871 7652.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

REVIEW: Annie at MK Theatre

Annie at Milton Keynes Theatre

Set in 1930s New York, Annie and the other orphans are forced to live under Miss Hannigan’s rule; much to their dismay, they spend all day working, cleaning and sewing. Suddenly, when the opportunity arises for an orphan to spend two weeks at Oliver Warbucks’ mansion, Annie can’t believe her luck when she is chosen! With several obstacles along the way and several hundred couples claiming to be Annie’s biological parents, the performance ends just the way the audience hopes.

A tale of good fortune, love and family, this is such a fantastic production. With brilliant singers, dancers and actors, it was very believable, and the audience were really routing for Annie to find a happy home. What’s more, with its award-winning score, the orchestra really stood out and played very memorable songs such as Easy Street and Tomorrow. 

Best known for playing Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather, Lesley Joseph, played such a brilliant role as Miss Hannigan. She was witty, very funny, and everything I hoped Miss Hannigan would be!

And one cuddly cast member I can’t forget to mention is adorable Amber the Labradoodle, who played Annie’s dog, Sandy. She was so cute, obedient, and had the audience captured by her constantly wagging tail! At just two years old, she definitely has big things ahead of her.

Running from: 30th May – 4th June
Tickets: visit or call 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

REVIEW: Save The Last Dance For Me at MK Theatre

Review: Save the Last Dance for Me

Written by two of TV’s most talented writers, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, Save The Last Dance is full of early 60s hits and chart-toppers such as Sweets For My Sweet and Viva Las Vegas. Put this in the mix with fantastic singers and a young, energetic cast and you’ve found yourself a very memorable, enjoyable production. And for those members of the audience who were old enough to remember those songs in the charts, this was a nostalgic trip down memory lane (and many were singing along!).

As the audience is taken along a journey with two teenage sisters on a holiday without their parents, they are in high spirits and soon meet a handsome young American who invites them to dance at a US Air Force base; this performance is full of young love, dancing and fun.

The cast features Antony Costa from chart-topping boyband, Blue, and 2014 X Factor finalist, Lola Saunders. Both were fantastic, each with unique voices and a great enthusiasm for the performance. Another actor who really stood out was Sackie Osakonor whose strong voice was a pleasure to listen to. The main character Marie played by Elizabeth Carter had the sweetest voice ever.

The costume design was very true to life, replicating dresses and Air Force uniform accurately and in great detail. The live band were also fantastic, and clearly well-rehearsed. The stage set was a music venue on a American air base in Suffolk that really captured the atmosphere of the early 60s dance halls showcasing the music of that era.

Running at Milton Keynes Theatre from: Tues 24th - Sat 28th June

Tickets available from:

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

REVIEW: Avenue Q at MK Theatre

Avenue Q at Milton Keynes Theatre

A smash hit on Broadway and in the West End, this award-winning musical was absolutely hilarious! Featuring puppets brought to life by an ensemble cast of 11 performers, this musical is all about dreams, growing up and finding your purpose. A relatable coming-of-age show coupled with awesome puppetry and humour that is not over-the-top.

The lead puppet, Princeton, is a graduate who has come to New York and he soon realises the only place he can afford to live in the busy city is Avenue Q… And he finds himself moving in with some very quirky, funny characters!

The comedy skills of the 11 cast members were fantastic, and you could tell they enjoyed doing what they do! The lead puppeteers, Sarah Harlington and Richard Lowe were outstanding with laugh-out-loud comedy and silly facial expressions to match the thoughts and feelings of their puppets. I couldn’t help but watch them as well as their puppets. The puppeteers voices and singing, along with animating the puppets, lip-synching and dancing was so fun to watch and the audience was roaring. The stage set was simple yet effective, based on an apartment block with doors and windows that open up onto different scenes and characters lives and there was the odd bit of humour directed at the audience which brought us all onto Avenue Q with them. 

Avenue Q is the definition of an R-rated performance with truly relatable themes about life’s everyday problems, bad language and rude behaviour. This is most definitely not for the little ones, it’s best they stick to Sesame Street rather than this Sesame Street/South Park hybrid. A highly recommended comedy-musical for those of us that love great humour and the odd inappropriate joke.

Running from: Mon 16th - Sat 21st May
Tickets: or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7652

Friday, 6 May 2016

REVIEW: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at MK Theatre

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review

What a spectacular show! With Lee Mead, Shaun Williamson and Michelle Collins taking the lead roles, the production is full of life, laughter, song and dance.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, written by Ian Fleming,  surprisingly, took 30 years to reach the stage. Originally produced as a film in the late 1960s, this adaptation has definitely done the film justice. Interestingly, Roald Dahl wrote the original film script and this production definitely gave us glimpses of his writing style and sometimes dark humour along with his fantastic imagination which is just irresistible to both children and adults! 

Having won the BBC series ‘Any Dream Will Do’, I was expecting big things from Lee Mead, and he definitely rose to my expectations. With fantastic vocals and a spot-on performance from start to finish, he was very memorable. Starring alongside Shaun and Michelle of EastEnders fame, the trio worked well together. Lee Mead also partnered Carrie Hope Fletcher who was so aptly named Truly Scrumptious for indeed she was! They were all not only enthusiastic, but really seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout the performance. A special mention for all the children who were so endearing as the sewer children. The lead children Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman played Jeremy and Jemima Potts looked to be having a great time singing, dancing to some of the best songs to be had in a musical. 

There were so many other routines and double acts from an extremely talented cast that this is a show that you won`t want to miss. The sets were beautifully designed and decorated, but still left some parts of the production open to the imagination. And, of course, we can’t not talk about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang itself. With the ability to fly, the audience were in awe of this fantastic car!

Running from: 4th – 14th May
Tickets available from: or 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

REVIEW: Northern Ballet: Swan Lake at MK Theatre

Northern Ballet: Swan Lake at Milton Keynes Theatre

Adored by audiences for over a hundred years, Swan Lake is the most famous ballet in the world and tells a story of grief, love and desire.  The fantastic dancers brought the ballet to life and, paired with Northern Ballet Sinfonia, the performance was stunning and memorable.

The dancing between Javier Torres and Ayami Miyata as Anthony and Odette was especially mesmerising and captivated the audience’s attention from the moment they met at the lake. Through their elegant and enchanting dancing style they told the story beautifully. The infectious melodies of Tchaikovsky’s music score worked brilliantly with this contemporary version of a treasured classic.

The set was simple but worked well and didn’t draw attention away from the production and dancing itself. The lakeside scene with swaying reeds and overhanging trees was particularly cheerful and the Lighting team did a fantastic job of taking the audience through Anthony and Odette’s journey from beginning to end with glittering sunrises, picturesque sunsets and ethereal underwater scenes.

The costumes were modest yet elegant and flowed beautifully with David Nixon’s choreography. I was a little disappointed that Odette didn’t have a much more extravagant costume to make her stand out as the swan princess, however after watching her dance, it became clear that her dexterous, graceful movements alone were enough and I was absorbed by her. 

To purchase tickets, visit