Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes Review

Liverpool Empire – until 29 February 2020

Reviewed by Sarah Cockerill


This week, Liverpool Empire welcomed Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes which is currently on a nationwide tour delighting cities across the UK. A far cry from the classing Hans Christian Andersen tale of vanity and sin, the story takes inspiration from the classic 1948 film of the same name and continues to establish itself as a classic in its own right. 

The star of the show, Ashley Shaw (Victoria Page), is utterly stunning, perfecting every movement and expression throughout the entire performance. So much so that it’s impossible not to be drawn to her even in the ensemble dances. 

The chemistry between Page and Dominic North, who plays Julian Craster, is undeniable and in moments their characters’ relationship is so captivating I found myself getting lost in their romance.

The costumes, wigs and make up were undeniably familiar, having seen previous Matthew Bourne productions, yet the sparkly dresses were no less mesmerising. The shoes themselves appeared to be truly under a spell and managed to somehow hypnotise the audience. 

If you’ve never been to a ballet or you’re not sure if it would be your thing then I would urge you to see a Matthew Bourne ballet as every single one of his touring production is a dazzling masterpiece in its own right and The Red Shoes is no exception.

The Red Shoes is at Liverpool Empire until 29th February 2020 before continuing its UK tour until June 2020.