Lowry Theatre, Salford – until 7 March 2020
Reviewed by Niamh Holleran
From the minute the orchestra enter and begin playing, the calibre of the show has you transfixed. Going by several people’s recommendations that Swan Lake is their favourite ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) are renowned for their shows, I was already expecting an enjoyable experience but what I got was so much more. Not knowing the story, I had read the program before the start to get a sense of the plot – a good thing too, so I saw the advice for the pause between act 1 and act 2 – “please remain seated”.
Each act changed the feel of the stage completely – the stage design and lighting fully immersed you in the story, in perfect partnership with the music which deftly changed with the appearance of different characters – a clue I thought I would need but turned out not to. During the opening of act 4, fog filled the stage which united the crowd in “oohs” of amazement, especially when, seconds later, two rows of swans emerged from the mist and rose up into position.
By the final act, I was desperate to see how it would end and glad to see Momoko Hirata return to grace the stage as Odette (especially after performing 32 fouettés in the previous act as Odile – an outstanding display of balance and elegance) with her lover – played by César Morales and the crescendo of their story was played out beautifully. A wonderful mid-week escape.