Reviews

Bewitching mix of effects as Swan Lake takes to the ice

07 Oct 10 - This is Hull & East Riding - Will Ramsey

It was a case of fire and ice for this new version of Swan Lake.

As the first half ended, the temporary rink on Hull New Theatre's stage was briefly ablaze as the evil sorcerer, Count Von Rothbart, was surrounded by a circle of flames.

It was just one extraordinary moment in this production by the Imperial Ice Stars, which has launched its British tour at the venue.

Created by artistic director Tony Mercer – and featuring a cast of international-standard skaters – the show is an enthralling take on Tchaikovsky's famous score.

Telling the story of a young royal, Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with Odette – a princess who has been cursed to live as a swan – the show is a bewitching mix of effects, including a snow-storm, and superb athleticism from the cast.

Against the backdrop of Eamon D'Arcy's ornate sets – one of which included a working water feature – the cast seemed to dance across the stage on their skates, mixing in tricks including somersaults.

As Von Rothbart, Vadim Yarkov was a convincing villain – radiating a palpable sense of darkness. His battle against Prince Siegried (Andrei Penkin), set up a glorious finale, where you couldn't help but long for the release of Olga Sharutenko, as the fragile, cursed Odette.

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