The Red Shoes, From Home, Matthew Bourne


Having reviewed this show in the good old days of physical theatre (and hope), I jumped at the chance to catch this celebration of the show and the dancers and talent involved.

Taking a more thematic view of the story, it revels gloriously in dance and shows the flexibility of the theatre industry – dry your eyes, theatre kids!

Bernard Herrmann’s music is as captivating as ever, even when rudely interrupted by blaring YouTube adverts.

The whole piece keeps much of the light and witty bounce of the original show with, obviously, less of the lavishness.

Bourne’s playful approach allows this ‘ballet from home’ concept to make sense, which speaks to his skill as a director and theatre-maker.

Running almost like a home movie, we see a variety of dancers pouring their souls into the movements. This is the cream of the crop of the dancing world and to watch them pirouette around children’s toys or flutter under a blossoming tree is truly unique and heartwarming!

The Hans Christian Andersen plot is a little lost, but the themes of desire, obsession and sex are felt clearly, along with those bloody trouble-making slippers.

From dark wizardry in an empty football field to floor work on the living room carpet, this concept showcases the dancers behind the expensive costumes and spinning sets.

Short, sweet and sincere, this is proof that sitting on the sofa guzzling popcorn and crying is not the only response to lockdown living. There is hope! Now if you excuse me, I’m off for a run!